Air Canada admits 'inappropriate comments' made over lost greyhound dog
Published Friday, October 11, 2013 2:17PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 11, 2013 5:47PM EDT
A greyhound dog that went missing after it was taken out of its crate at the San Francisco International Airport earlier this week still hasn't been found, but it's an email Air Canada accidentally sent to a U.S. television news team that's raising eyebrows.
Jutta Kulic announced on Facebook that a greyhound dog she was caring for went missing at the airport Monday, after Air Canada employees took the dog out of its crate for a walk.
Kulic had arranged to ship Larry, a two-year-old Italian greyhound, to his new home in Campbell River, B.C.
Larry had belonged to a friend of hers who recently passed away. Kulic told CBS Sacramento that she promised her friend she would find the dog a new home.
Kulic said she secured the dog's crate multiple times and told the airline specifically not to open it unless the dog would be in an enclosed room.
The flight was cancelled and rescheduled for later Monday night. But Kulic received a call from Air Canada telling her Larry went missing after an employee took him out for a walk.
After picking up the story, CBS Sacramento was told by Air Canada that a team of employees was searching for Larry.
But after more questions were sent to the airline, a company spokesperson sent the station an email apparently meant for another Air Canada employee.
In the email, the sender advises the recipient to "ignore" the questions, reports CBS Sacramento.
"I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog. Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the U.S. media spends its time," the email says.
In a statement provided to CTV British Columbia, Air Canada acknowledged that "inappropriate comments" were made in response to follow-up questions regarding Larry.
It said that the comments made in the email do not "reflect Air Canada's standards or professionalism, and do not refer to the search for Larry by Air Canada employees, which is ongoing."
Air Canada said it has reached out to local groups for help in locating Larry.
"We remain optimistic Larry will be returned," the statement said.
The company added that its cargo agents are trained to care and handle animals, and each year it safely transports thousands of animals.
Kulic, who lives in Ohio, told The Canadian Press she found the email “cold” and “callous.”
“I just find the whole thing just horrifying,” she said in a phone interview from Sacramento, Calif., where she is travelling for a dog show.
Meanwhile, the British Columbia couple that had arranged to adopt Larry told CTV News they are also displeased with the way Air Canada has handled the situation.
“They were actually quite offended by the way that reporter was responded to, even it if it was by accident,” CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson told News Channel. “They also think that this shows that Air Canada is just not taking this seriously.”