Res­cue dog who bolted at air­port found safe

Bor­ders Ser­vices Agency ac­cused of not fol­low­ing pro­to­cols

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - MICHELLE MCQUIGGE

The new owner of a res­cue dog that went miss­ing af­ter be­ing let out of a crate at Canada’s busiest air­port said he’s relieved his pet was found be­fore any harm came to the an­i­mal.

Jor­dan Wong said he and his fam­ily were anx­ious through­out the hours-long hunt for Emily, a 4.5-kilo­gram dog that had been brought to Canada from Greece as part of a res­cue ef­fort.

Emily had been on Cana­dian soil for barely an hour when cus­toms of­fi­cials al­legedly opened her crate to give her a walk on Mon­day. At that point, Emily bolted and raced across the high­way near Toronto’s Pear­son In­ter­na­tional Air­port, ac­cord­ing to Stray Paws from Greece, the res­cue group that co­or­di­nated her adop­tion.

Wong said he and his fam­ily waited at the air­port for eight hours while searchers scoured the area for Emily, but even­tu­ally had to go home with­out the pet they’d been ea­gerly await­ing for the past three weeks.

On Tues­day morn­ing, how­ever, a Toronto wo­man found the dog and brought her to a lo­cal vet­eri­nary clinic where the pup was even­tu­ally iden­ti­fied.

Wong said he’s relieved the dog was brought to safety be­fore be­ing in­jured by a car or be­ing lost in­def­i­nitely.

“I think we def­i­nitely had our doubts at times, but we def­i­nitely tried to stay pos­i­tive most of the time,” he said. “It worked out in the end, and we’re re­ally grate­ful.”

Stray Paws could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment but al­leged in a Face­book post that Emily was lost while be­ing pro­cessed through cus­toms in Toronto.

The com­pany ac­cused the Canada Bor­ders Ser­vices Agency of not fol­low­ing proper pro­to­cols when han­dling Emily and four other dogs who had made the jour­ney. The group also al­leged the bor­der agency did not as­sist with the search or con­tact the proper author­i­ties. Wong echoed the crit­i­cism, say­ing his fam­ily has yet to hear from the agency over their new pet’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

“They never spoke to us di­rectly. They never apol­o­gized,” he said. “It’s pretty un­eth­i­cal for them to do some­thing like that.”

The or­deal was try­ing for other fam­i­lies wait­ing to re­ceive dogs off the flight, he added, since no one knew for some time ex­actly whose new pet had gone miss­ing.

CBSA de­clined to of­fer com­ments on al­le­ga­tions from ei­ther Wong or Stray Paws.

Wong said the fam­ily plans to take Emily to her new home as soon as pos­si­ble, adding they’ve spent the past few weeks get­ting the house ready for her ar­rival.

“We’ve done so many home ren­o­va­tions just for her and we’re su­per-ex­cited to have her,” he said.

HAND­OUT PHOTO STRAY PAWS FROM GREECE, TORONTO DOG RES­CUE

The search for a res­cue dog named Emily ended hap­pily for both dog and owner.

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