Dog found abandoned among lost luggage at busy airport for 21 hours

A dog was found among a pile of lost luggage at Toronto Pearson International Airport last weekend, 21 hours after being separated from its owner.

Jena Butts rescued stray Winston while on holiday with her other pet Bella in the Dominican Republic, but the pooch went missing after she landed back in her hometown.

Bella appeared with her luggage, but Winston and his crate did not, so airport staff advised her to go home and phone her airline, Air Transat.

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And she eventually got the call, 21 hours after her flight landed, to tell her that Winston had been discovered among the lost items of luggage.

Jena told CTV News: “I was very angry and I didn’t understand how nobody could be at the airport to help me find my dog. This is a living creature.”

Winston, who was found “zip-tied into his crate” and “covered in urine”, has been traumatised by the incident, said Jena, who added: “I will definitely not be travelling with dogs for a while now.”

In a statement, Air Transat said: “We take this issue very seriously and as such, have requested a full investigation from our handler into the events that occurred this past weekend.

“We are deeply sorry that Ms Butts and her dog Winston had to go through this stressful situation, though are very happy they have been reunited.

“We have contacted Ms Butts to apologise for this unfortunate event and have offered her compensation.”

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Jena admitted she was not interested in compensation, but expects better service from the airline when it comes to animals, adding: “There needs to be a procedure, better policies.”

One Twitter user, in response to hearing about Winston’s plight, penned: “How could this happen? Pathetic and unacceptable.”

A fellow Toronto passenger tweeted that she’d seen a different dog left waiting in its carrier at the airport.

She wrote: “My heart is breaking. This dog is stranded at Toronto airport. I asked if I could walk it or take it to relieve itself, but they wouldn’t let me. I almost stayed just to keep it company.”


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