A dog was left stranded at Toronto Pearson International Airport for 21 hours last weekend, according to its owner.
Winston, a street dog who was rescued by Jena Butts while on holiday in the Dominican Republic, went astray after landing back in her Canadian hometown.
Ms. Butts was advised by airport staff to go home and phone her airline, Air Transat, when Winston did not appear with her other luggage, according to reporting by CTV News.
The pup was eventually found in amongst a pile of lost luggage following Ms. Butts’ flight home – after 21 hours had passed.
She told the channel: “I was very angry and I didn’t understand how nobody could be at the airport to help me find my dog. This is a living creature.”
Ms. Butts was on holiday on the Caribbean island nation with her dog Bella when she came across a stray she decided to rescue and bring home with her to Canada.
While Bella was returned to her upon arrival at Toronto Airport, Winston and his crate were nowhere to be found.
Twenty-one hours later Ms. Butts received notification from customs staff at the airport that her dog had been found in a corner surrounded by lost bags, still “zip-tied into his crate”.
Winston is “very traumatized”, according to Ms. Butts. “I will definitely not be traveling with dogs for a while now,” she told reporters.
Air Transat said in a statement: “We take this issue very seriously and as such, have requested a full investigation from our handler into the events that occurred this past weekend.
“We are deeply sorry that Ms Butts and her dog Winston had to go through this stressful situation, though are very happy they have been reunited.
“We have contacted Ms. Butts to apologize for this unfortunate event and have offered her compensation.”
Meanwhile, a fellow Toronto Pearson customer, Lynn, tweeted on Thursday that she’d seen a different dog left waiting in its carrier at the airport.
“My heart is breaking. This dog is stranded at Toronto airport. I asked if I could walk it or take it to relieve itself, but they wouldn’t let me. I almost stayed just to keep it company,” she wrote.