Joey, a 9-year-old Beagle/Australian Shepherd mix, has such bad separation anxiety that a German airline twice refused to board him on a plane home to the United States. They were afraid that he would hurt himself during the flight after he had already destroyed 2 airline-approved dog carriers and lacerated his nose in his attempts to escape and find his family. Now, Joey’s dad is back in Germany with no idea how to get him back to the United States.
John and Dawn MacEnulty, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, had lived in Germany for the last year with Joey, their cat Molly, 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.
United recommended that the MacEnultys use Gradlyn Petshipping to send Joey and Molly back home to the United States. Molly arrived at O’Hare International Airport on a Lufthansa flight about half an hour after the MacEnultys arrived on their United flight last Thursday. Unfortunately, when they turned their phones on after landing, they discovered that Joey hadn’t been put on the same flight. John told the New York Post:
“I turned my phone back on and an urgent email pops up from Gradlyn saying Joey was pulled off the Lufthansa flight. They said it was because he was acting anxious in the kennel.”
Gradlyn attempted to fly Joey home again yesterday, but pulled him from the flight for the same reason. Gradlyn CEO Kay Wissenbach sent an email to John saying that Joey damaged two airline-approved crates and that he was exhibiting “dramatic behaver [sic].” The email continued:
“… No airline will fly Joey back to USA. All person at Frankfurt tried the best that Joey could fly, but it is too danger and high risk to fly him, as you probably know and understand.”
A veterinarian in the United States had prescribed Joey Xanax to help him relax for his flight from the United States to Germany last year, but German vets refuse to do the same, saying that the safety risks outweigh the potential benefits.
Now, Joey and John are holed up in a hotel trying to figure out how to get Joey home. John said:
“He’s an anxious dog to begin with. He hates being in the kennel, he hates being separated from his people. The problem is is that, that’s a situation that doesn’t improve the longer you keep him away — it can only get worse.”
In a recent Facebook post, John said:
“So here’s the current situation: I picked up Joey today from a kennel in the Frankfurt airport. We drove to a hotel that allows pets, and we’re here regrouping. There is currently no plan in place for us to come home. As per usual I’m hearing lots of conflicting information, but no one here has offered assistance. I have a car that I can drive to wherever I need to go, and we still have Joey’s kennel to load him as cargo if need be. I want to thank everyone for their support. It’s a great help to me psychologically as this whole ordeal has been emotionally draining. You all have helped keep me going.”
Gradlyn CEO Wissenbach didn’t offer any helpful suggestions on how to get Joey back to the United States. In her email, she suggested to John that he should hire TV dog trainer Cesar Milan to train Joey to tolerate the crate and charter him back to the US.
(H/T: New York Post)