Name: Abandoned pets.
Age: Hard to tell with a tortoise. The German shepherd mix was about six months old.
Aw, puppy! I’m afraid this is not a happy story. We’re talking abandoned pets.
Noooo! Where? The US. Specifically San Francisco airport in Polaris’s case.
Polaris? The German shepherd, sorry. Actually, this one works out OK in the end.
Go on. The dog was abandoned at customs by a traveller in transit who didn’t have the correct paperwork. Polaris later got adopted by a United Airlines pilot.
Yay! There are more though, aren’t there? ’Fraid so. That was last year. In the past few weeks there has been a spate of animals abandoned at US airports. Another dog was handed over to staff at Charlotte Douglas international airport. But it gets weirder still in Des Moines and Las Vegas.
Not unweird places … Stop that! A pit bull, named Allie by staff, was found tied to a pole outside the airport at Des Moines. Joe Stafford of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which helped in Allie’s rescue and care, said: “This is the wrong thing to do.”
Well, obviously! Then at Harry Reid international, in Las Vegas Valley, a nine-week-old puppy was found abandoned by the departure gate.
Nine weeks! And a tortoise, age unknown, was found in the toilet. (As in what Americans call the restroom, not in the actual toilet.)
Name? She/he (also hard to determine) got rechristened Boeing.
Concorde would have been better. So are people turning up at airports with animals without knowing the rules of travelling with them, then just dumping them? Hard to know: the abandoned haven’t said much.
Kinda The Terminal meets The Incredible Journey, if you were pitching the movie. It’s not a film, though: it’s real as well as wrong. And don’t go saying Only in America …
Abandoned pets are a thing in Britain too? ’Fraid so, though not so much at airports, and the reasons are clearer.
Cost of living crisis? ’Fraid so. A report by Pets4Homes has found that nearly a fifth of pet owners are falling into debt to pay for their pet’s care, and nearly one in 10 is considering giving up a pet. Large dog breeds are the most commonly given up for adoption, with staffies and German shepherds topping the list.
Better than dumping them at Luton airport, though. True, but 60% of rescue centres saw a decrease in pets being rehomed last year.
God, is this the saddest, most ’fraid-so pass notes ever? ’Fraid … yes.
Do say: “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.”
Don’t say: “An upgrade, but only if I lose the tortoise? Yeah, go for it! Toilet time, Turbo …”