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Halifax dog goes missing in Hamilton after being put on wrong flight

Toronto Star logo Toronto Star 2017-04-21 Molly Hayes - Hamilton Spectator

The search continues for a labradoodle that is on the loose in Hamilton after being put on the wrong flight in Atlantic Canada earlier this week.

Cooper the puppy was supposed to be headed from Halifax to Deer Lake, N.L. on Wednesday afternoon to be dog-sat while his owners — 19-year-old Chelsea Simon and her roommate — vacationed in Jamaica next week.

But there was a mix-up with the airline and the dog was mistakenly put on a flight to Hamilton. And then when he arrived, Cooper was let out to pee — and got off his leash.

Simon says she got the bad news late Wednesday night, when a WestJet representative called them in Halifax around midnight.

She and her roommate immediately flew to Hamilton. She says the airline paid for them to travel here to hunt for the dog.

“They were very apologetic. They keep apologizing, but unfortunately apologizing can’t bring him back,” Simon said when reached by phone Thursday, in the middle of their rain-soaked search.

This is their first trip to Hamilton, and they do not know the area at all.

“We haven’t slept,” Simon said.

Photos of the pup have been posted on social media, and Simon says they’ve been contacted with a few sightings. But by the time they get to the spot where he was seen, he is gone again.

The last reported sighting, she said, was around 4 p.m., at Airport Road and Upper James Street. She asks anyone who does spot Cooper to keep an eye on him from afar until they can get there.

“He’s very, very timid so if anyone is to see him we would rather be contacted,” she says. “Maybe just kind of keep your distance, but remain on the phone with us — because he doesn’t respond to just anybody and right now he is very, very scared.”

In an email response Thursday, WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart said that the safety and care of pets is “always a top priority.”

“We sincerely apologize to the pet’s owner for what has occurred. We have flown the owner to Hamilton and have made arrangements for hotel/meals while required,” she said.

“We are doing everything possible to find and return Cooper including engaging our staff in ground search, putting up posters, offering up the Hamilton airport security phone line for anyone with sightings of the dog to call, and reaching out to local media for the public’s help. We will continue to work with the owner during this difficult time.”

If Cooper is spotted, Simon can be reached at 1-709 457-7308.


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