March 31, 2018 A dog is stuck in Germany after an airline deemed him unfit to fly because of an […]
March 31, 2018
A dog is stuck in Germany after an airline deemed him unfit to fly because of an anxiety episode.
John and Dawn MacEnulty, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, had lived in Germany for the last year with their cat, Molly, 9-year-old beagle and Australian shepherd mix, Joey, and their 20-year-old daughter until John’s mother recently passed away.
The family booked a flight home on United Airlines, thinking that Joey and Molly would be able to join them.
Unfortunately, United Airlines had suspended their pet cargo program, PetSafe, a few days prior due to a week’s worth of incidents involving dogs.
The two pets were booked on a Lufthansa flight scheduled to depart Germany a half hour after the MacEnultys. When the couple landed in Chicago, they received a text that their dog was taken off the plane because he was anxious and had scratched his nose. Their cat boarded the flight and arrived that Thursday night as scheduled.
In a statement to Fox News, Christina Semmel, a representative for Lufthansa Airlines, said the dog had a “panicked reaction,” which prompted the removal.
“At Lufthansa Group, the safety, health and security of our passengers is the utmost of importance and a first priority. The same standards hold true for any animal that we transport through Lufthansa Cargo. The MacEnulty family dog, Joey, was scheduled to fly home on March 28, 2018 (today), but upon careful examination, our experts agreed that the animal is still unable to fly due to his panicked reaction upon being placed in the transport kennel. Our customer relations team is in communication with the family and our professionals must make sure that Joey is first calm and fit to fly before he is admitted onboard.”
The spokesperson said that in the meantime, Joey is staying in a dog hotel in Germany where he can be comfortable and has space to run around.
The MacEnultys said a US veterinarian gave the dog a prescription for anxiety medication when they flew to Germany a year ago, but they couldn’t get a German vet to make the same prescription.
“Under German law, veterinarians are advised not give medication to animals while inflight as it affects their circulation,” the Lufthansa spokesperson told Fox. “Also, once it wears off, we run into the same problem again.”
John MacEnulty flew back to Germany last week to be with Joey, but it is unclear when the two will be able to return to the US. Both United and Lufthansa have offered to fly the dog back to the US free of charge.