Entire Dog Lost, Delta Offers $200 Credit

Where’s Paco? Josiah doesn’t know, his girlfriend doesn’t know, someone at Delta might know. After all, Delta was supposed to load Josiah’s new dog on the same plane that Josiah got on. Paco didn’t land with them. Frantic, Josiah called around desperately before being told that Paco was safe and sound, being taken care of by Delta employees, who would put him on the next flight out. Paco wasn’t on that one either. More harried calls and Delta told Josiah Paco had “escaped” and the best they could do is refund his $200.00 pet transportation fee, but only as a “credit” for future Delta travel. That doesn’t do Josiah any good, as he’s vowed to never fly Delta again. Here’s his story, and more adorable/sad puppy pictures:

UPDATE: Delta Offers $380 Plus 2 More $200 Vouchers For Lost Pooch

UPDATE: Delta spokesperson Susan Elliott says, “This is extremely rare for a situation like this to happen.” She says that they are going to be offering Josiah “additional compensation as well as our sincere apology.”

UPDATE: Josiah says the dog was vaccinated four days prior to the flight for rabies, kennel cough, and giardia, and given two other drugs, Canigen L Canigen MHA2PPi. He says the vet told him that the dog only needed to be vaccinated 3 days before flying.

It should be noted that the rabies vaccine is not considered effective until 30 days after administration.

However, even if this was a factor, Josiah says he was not asked to show any proof of the dog’s shots and Delta personnel told that this would be asked for in customs in Detroit.

Hi, my name is Josiah and I recently travelled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with Delta Airlines, and I am so appalled by them I can’t stand it. I booked my flights online, and that part went smoothly, but that’s the only good part of my traveling with them. I flew out of Detroit Metro in the early morning of April 24th 2010, and flew to Atlanta to catch a transfer which would take me to Puerto Vallarta. After arriving about an hour late and having to run to catch my plane, they said that they weren’t boarding any more passengers, but were taking an extra fifteen minutes to load all the baggage on the plane. When we arrived in Puerto Vallarta I was informed that, along with most people who were on the original flight from Detroit, my baggage never left the Atlanta airport, and I had to wait until the next day to receive all of my clothes and necessities for traveling.

Now, while I know that this isn’t too out of the ordinary, and that airlines have baggage delayed quite commonly, the next issue is one that is completely unacceptable and should never happen regardless of circumstances. When in Mexico, my girlfriend and I rescued a stray dog which our hosts said had been seen all over the town. We took him to the vet’s, got him all of his shots, an eye infection treated, two baths to clean him from hundreds of dog ticks that were covering his whole body, and gave him the name Paco. After this treatment at the vet clinic, we had to spend multiple additional hours picking more ticks from his body. We soon discovered that this dog was a very lucky find, and that it would be loyal and friendly to my girlfriend and I. It would walk by my side along the beach and along the sidewalks, went to the washroom outside, didn’t bark at cars or other dogs, and would sleep on the bed next to us curled up in a ball quite contently. My girlfriend and I were both very excited to take him back home to Canada with us, and we quite readily paid for an airline approved pet carrier and the costs associated with checking a pet on an airplane to travel as baggage, as he was too big to be taken as carry-on.

Everything went smoothly traveling with AeroMéxico from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City, where we had a five hour layover. We took the dog out so he could go to the bathroom and stretch his legs in-between our flights, and two hours before we departed from Mexico City to Detroit Metro we checked him with Delta for the flight. It took us a whole hour to check the dog because Delta said that the pet carrier we purchased was not big enough, despite the vet who treated the dog saying it was large enough, and it meeting all the criteria such as the dog being able to turn around and stand up. We spent the hour trying to convince the Delta employee that the carrier was large enough, and after seeing two separate supervisors, we had to sign a waiver saying that if my dog Paco received any injuries as a result of the size of the carrier, that Delta Airlines was not responsible.

After the fiasco of the size of the carrier being an issue, they assured us that Paco would be alright and transported safely to Detroit. However, when we arrived in Detroit and waited for twenty minutes at the pet claim, we began to suspect that something was wrong. We spent two hours in the Detroit Metro Airport trying to sort out what had happened to our dog, and we were told that it was never loaded on the plane in the first place, and that it was forgotten in Mexico City but would be cared for by Delta employees and walked, fed, watered, and would be sent on the next flight to Detroit, and then get delivered to my house in Ontario, Canada.

gonedoggygone.jpgWhen I called Delta the following day to ask if Paco had been flown to Detroit yet, no one seemed to have any answers or have any idea about the location of my dog. I was shocked. I had been told explicitly that my dog was being cared for in Mexico City by Delta until he could be flown and delivered to me, and now they were telling me that they didn’t know where my dog was. I had my host in Mexico call the Mexico City Airport to get some answers, and she spent hours being transferred from person to person, each one having no idea what happened to my dog, she was finally told that my dog had somehow escaped from the carrier and disappeared. I do not believe for a second that Paco escaped from his carrier. It was a very secure hard plastic pet carrier with two locks and a metal wire door, and there is no way a small dog (he looked like a mix of a wiener dog and a jack russell) could scratch or break his way out of it.

If indeed he did somehow manage to escape from the carrier, why would I not have been informed of this in the first place? I was told that he was accounted for and being cared for in Mexico City, then that no one had any idea where he was, and then that he had escaped from the carrier.

There is no excuse for this kind of situation to take place, and I expect that when you pay to have a live animal flown with you to take him home, that Delta Airlines would take every precaution and action needed to make sure that is what happens. My dog is likely either still in his carrier in a corner, having not eaten or drank for over 48 hours, or he is lost in the Mexico City Airport terrified and starving.

The only thing Delta has tried to do to rectify this situation is offering their apology and refunding the cost for transporting a pet ($200.00USD) in a credit to be used with Delta Airlines. I think that this is completely absurd as there is no chance of me flying with Delta Airlines again.

That really sucks, Josiah. At the very least, Delta should give that $200 as a full refund. And as commenter tungstencoil points out, try asking them to return to you the dog carrier. It’s your property, and making them produce it could force some honesty out of the situation.

We’ve reached out to Delta for comment.


Edit Your Comment

  1. aloria says:

    This breaks my heart. Poor Paco.

    • DoktorGoku says:

      Exactly. I cannot imagine how the owner & dog must feel. My family jokes that our dog is my “fuzzy son”- that anybody would “lose” a family member is just unimaginable.

  2. tungstencoil says:

    Practical assessment: if he “got out of” the carrier (rather than them losing it), ask them to return the carrier. That may rustle up some honesty.

    Gut assessment: wow… just…wow…awful… I can’t imagine.

    • Hoss says:

      Good thinking but It’s been two weeks.

      • selianth says:

        I’m not sure it has been 2 weeks. He originally flew to Mexico April 24th, but the pictures in the post are dated May 1 and it sounded like they came back to Canada a couple days after that.

      • coren says:

        They have pictures of him on the beach, so at most it’s been one, possibly only a day or two

    • Julia789 says:

      Carriers are sturdy and hard for dogs to get out of. What happens is workers open the door to pet the dog, or offer it some water, and when they open the door the dog scurries out (which is understandable as they may be afraid of traveling in a crate, especially a small dog that is used to being free.) It’s amazing how a dog can wiggle out even if the crate is only opened a small bit to pet it.

      Horrible what happened to the pup. Hopefully he’s free and has a chance at survival, rather than a misplaced crate in a warehouse somewhere.

      • ConsumerA says:

        I adopted a year old Rhodesian Ridgeback in December. On the first day back to work after adopting him, I left him in a travel carrier that I’d used in the past for a Great Dane. When I returned home from work, I found my big puppy standing at the front window, waiting for me to return home. I went upstairs to find the carrier had been destroyed. It looked like he pulled the metal door so far into the carrier that it cracked the plastic and he was able to get out. It is possible to break out of a travel carrier…but I don’t know if Paco would have the strength to do that. Hopefully they will find Paco soon and reunite him with his new family.

        • Julia789 says:

          Wow that is one strong dog of yours! No, Paco doesn’t look that destructive. He looks about the size of my Miniature Pinscher.

    • Sumtron5000 says:

      Ask them for the carrier NOW , and do not stop until they either return the carrier or admit they don’t know where it is. I would be suprised if they do actually know where it is. Document everything, and sue them. I swear I will contribute to your legal fees. This is heartbreaking and I pray the dog is OK!

  3. Darrone says:

    Killing puppies? Now they are just screwing with us for fun. This is worst PR a company could get.

    • nbs2 says:

      I know that this isn’t a comical situation. but would it be inappropriate to point out that they were beaten by US in the first round of WCIA? Is Comcast/C4G/Paypal/US Airways worse than this?

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      If Delta and United had merged, maybe they would have beaten it to death with a guitar?

  4. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    …Delta told Josiah Paco had “escaped” and the best they could do is refund his $200.00 pet transportation fee, but only as a “credit” for future Delta travel.

    My jaw dropped.

    They’re not even going to offer to LOOK for it?

    • DoubleEcho says:

      Is it profitable for them to do it? If not, then they won’t bother. I’m sure if there was an extra fee for “Attempt to locate pet if lost” they would search though.

      The airline industry will sacrifice customer service and comfort if it will make then an extra $1 a seat.

    • SlimDan22 says:

      unfortunately the government sees pets as property so there is not any real legal recourse other then money refunded for the property, i really think that pets should be put into a separate category other then property, especially when most pets are considered part of the family, but who knows what category it would be or even if anything like that would be proposed.

      Its similar to that pet food recall a few years back, many pets died but the only recourse for the pet owners was small claims court for the amount the pet was worth

  5. uptown says:

    Good enough for me. I won’t fly Delta anymore either. Good luck locating Paco.

  6. Alvis says:

    Can you just bring dogs into the country like that? Aren’t there quarantines?

    • Commenter24 says:

      The dog was going to Canada, so Canadian law would probably control. However, I’m not sure the Canadians have laws, though I’m told the cities near the borders catch stray Americans and burn them for heat in the winter.

    • Anathema777 says:

      It depends on the country and the dog’s history. Sometimes it’s just a matter of filling out a lot of paperwork and proving a dog’s vaccination history.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Unfortunately, I think the problems started earlier than that. Paco was a stray, and if he had never been vaccinated before, he would have had to be vaccinated at least 30 days before entering the US – if there wasn’t any paperwork indicating he had his rabies vaccination, either he would be denied entry (Josiah should have been alerted if this was the case), he would be taken to be inspected (again, Josiah should have been alerted), or the dog would have been confined until he could get his rabies shot. Mexico is not a rabies-free country, so vaccination or an exemption of such (if Paco was too young) would have been absolutely necessary.

      Josiah should check with customs because you can’t just bring an animal into the US. You need documentation, even if the final destination is Canada. Josiah mentioned a lot of medical treatment for his eye infection and ticks and such, but never mentioned vaccinations. Given all of Paco’s problems (and please don’t flame me for this), I wonder whether Josiah and his girlfriend actually got all of Paco’s paperwork taken care of properly.

      • selianth says:

        The article does say he “got all of his shots” during the initial vet visit but I agree it’s not clear if these were the necessary vaccinations. Not to mention the paperwork issue, which is an important piece of information. Makes me wonder if the dog didn’t get put on the plane originally because some airline employee knew he didn’t have the proper paperwork, and things escalated from there. That’s just me totally speculating though.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Yeah, I caught that part after the fact. Oops on my part. But even so, if they got there April 24 and flew out in May, Paco didn’t qualify for entry based on the fact that he didn’t get his rabies shot at least 30 days beforehand – so this means that (barring the worst case scenario which is that Paco is wandering the streets or that someone stole him) Paco is in quarantine at the airport or they denied entry. In either case, Paco has to have identification on him, so if Paco hasn’t been stolen or has been left on the street, someone should have been able to get ahold of Josiah! But then again, I’m assuming the dog tag had Josiah’s information on it, and not just “Paco.”

          • jessjj347 says:

            I thought about bringing my rabbit abroad with me, but it turned out that she would have to have been quarantined for 60 days, if I remember correctly. There’s no way that Paco was quarantined in that short of a visit.

            But I think that if Delta does have the dog in quarantine, they should be alerting Josiah.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              Eesh, you would have had to quarantine your rabbit? I didn’t know they did that. At least you could have had your rabbit under the seat though, right? Unless she was a flemish giant.

      • mythago says:

        If all that were true, then the dog would have been refused earlier along the trip (note that the OP talked to two different supervisors just to get the damn CARRIER approved), and they would have been informed the dog was in quarantine somewhere. Sorry, OP blaming fail. Got anything else?

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I wasn’t blaming him for his problems, if you were actually paying attention. I was pointing out where things might have been troublesome from the beginning, and offering clues as to where the dog might be. We’d LIKE to think that Delta has its ducks in a row and would inform the OP properly of what was going on, but it’s not like that happens to often, now does it? We’d like for Delta to follow procedure so we can determine that if A happens, B is the result, and C is my course of action. But Delta doesn’t operate totally in the realm of common sense and they do dumb stuff like not tell anyone that they may or may not have a pet, or maybe…I don’t know…NOT send someone’s dog on the plane with them?

    • Daemon Xar says:

      My brother brought his cat from rural China to the U.S. with no quarantine or anything. I’m guessing Mexico is not any worse than rural China with regards to animal disease.

  7. otherginger says:

    This story…just kills me. Makes me want to go all PETA on Delta’s ass.

    • mastershake407 says:

      How will killing more animals make you feel any better?

    • Smashville says:

      PETA would have killed the dog, too, and preached puppy eugenics.

      The world would be a better place without PETA.

  8. glitteratti says:

    Seriously??? I will never fly Delta. Most pets are most beloved than some humans!

    • kevinadamkelly says:

      I believe that everyone should boycott delta now… I can see misplacing a piece of luggage from time to time, its understandable, but to misplace a living breathing animal is just horrible. If i ever need to fly my dog somewhere you can bet he’ll never be on Delta.

  9. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    United breaks people’s guitars, but Delta abandons your dog! WTF? At least Paco has a collar with a tag and if he did escape, maybe someone will call Josiah. I wish they had thought about putting a chip in Paco in case, but who would imagine that Delta could leave behind his dog and then lose him altogether?

    • blueneon says:

      That’s the first thing I thought of – a microchip. This story is so sad, I couldn’t imagine. I usually like my dogs more than my kids (they’re teenagers, trust me they can be pretty unlikable at times).

  10. Trance says:

    Oh no! This is so sad :(

    Losing the dog is bad enough, but it is more offensive to me that Delta’s response was a $200 credit. Delta sucks!

  11. axhandler1 says:

    This is incredibly unacceptable. I can’t believe Delta felt that offering him a $200 voucher was an appropriate response for LOSING HIS DOG! It sucks that this happened to you Josh, but thank you for sending this story in, as it ensures I will never fly Delta again. Delta, what the hell is wrong with you?

    • axhandler1 says:


      Looks like I need a third cup of coffee.

    • jessjj347 says:

      I’m hoping that the agreement he signed didn’t screw him over…
      After all, according to him, he signed a waiver that if anything happened to the dog, Delta wouldn’t be liable.

      • ellemdee says:

        It sounds like the waiver covered if anything happened specifically as a result of the size of the carrier.

      • Square Bottle says:

        Let’s just see how that waiver holds up in a civil court. Hey, perhaps it would, but I doubt Delta would want to publicly fight this case, so even if they did have some convenient fine print, they’d probably want to settle pretty damn quickly. And they deserve to be put in that situation if you ask me.

        Among other things, they should have immediately offered to put the guy on the next flight back to Mexico City to help look for his dog. I mean, holy smokes, this is somebody’s dog we’re talking about, not an old sweater. Disgusting.

      • MichiganWolverine says:

        Let’s see, Delta tells you, we won’t be responsible if something happens, and when something happens they are supposed to do something?

        • gnovos says:

          Well, if Delta actually *felt* that way, they would not have bold faced lied to him that the dog was fine and being looked after. They are scared, and were hoping to keep him at ease while they did a search. Delta lies because they feel that they are liable.

      • Sumtron5000 says:

        “sign a waiver saying that if my dog Paco received any injuries as a result of the size of the carrier, that Delta Airlines was not responsible. “

  12. Coupon says:

    This is heart shattering, I hope for all the best and this is taken care of. I would call my lawyer immediately, judge me, I don’t care. I would seek the most intense retribution possible.

    • Belle says:

      Coupon, I agree with you with one caveat. If the airline honestly made a big effort to find my dog and apologized to me, I would leave it be. But if they are being douches like this, I say sue the hell out of them

  13. florsie says:

    I can’t say much, but I hope someone here in Mexico is taking care of Paco. I do wish there is a charitable soul on the airport, maybe not working with Delta because they have shown they are pretty much douches. Still, someone else, maybe from the people who clean up the facilities or from another airline. Do keep us posted about whatever happens with Paco.

  14. Tim says:

    When do the WCIA 2011 nominations open up?

    • s2 says:

      maybe we need a Pro Bowl or All Star 2010 with BoA vs Delta. This is exactly why i would never even think of flying with my dogs.

    • TuxedoCartman says:

      Further rules clarification for Worst Company In America needed. Now, does Consumerist mean “Worst Company in the United States of America”, or “Worst Company in North America?” To preempt future conflict, what about South America? I only ask because he was flying from Mexico to Canada, so if we treat the Golden Poo as a national treasure, Delta’s efforts in this case are disqualified.

  15. Angus99 says:

    Man, I hope this hits the mainstream news. I hope Delta gets to sautee in this one. Heart breaking.

  16. Chumas says:

    Aside from the knee jerk reaction of kidnapping a Delta exec and holding him in a basement cage in total darkness, I think the only recourse here is to sue in small claims court over the loss of the animal and file a police report of animal cruelty.

    Why animal cruelty? How else would the animal escape if the cage was being treated badly enough to reach device failure.

    • Sayersj629 says:

      I think the knee jerk reaction of kidnapping a delta exec is actually very reasonable.

    • Tim in Wyoming says:

      Read this answer to find out what heppens… Delta treats the lost animal as if it were lost luggage http://www.gadling.com/2008/02/10/delta-pays-2-800-for-a-lost-dog-worth-20-000/

    • Commenter24 says:

      Lawsuit, and/or a police report, would be messy and maybe impossible. See my post below, but the crux of it is that this didn’t happen in the US, so the power of the Courts and US Law Enforcement is probably very limited.

    • blueneon says:

      Unfortunately, small claims courts (the laws) in the US treat dogs as “property” and not companions, so people are only normally awarded the value of the animal (which is usually nominal). I’ve always found this so unfair because dogs and other companion animals are so much more to most people. I would NEVER call my dogs my property!

  17. Sayersj629 says:

    I have no idea what I’d do in this case. I probably wouldn’t ever fly with my dog for fear of something like this happening.

  18. uberbitter says:

    Does anyone with more knowledge than me about such things think that Delta could be charged with cruelty to animals?

    • dulcinea47 says:

      I think there would have to be some evidence that something bad actually happened to Paco. I’m hoping that someone from the airport just decided to keep him… which is wrong, but at least would mean that nothing bad actually happened to the dog.

  19. Commenter24 says:

    I suspect the dog didn’t escape. It’s like that one of the airport employees just took him home for his kids or for himself.

    While I’m generally not one to scream “lawsuit,” this is a situation where one is warranted. That said, suing would probably be a mess. You’ve got an incident that occurred in Mexico, affecting the “property” of a Canadian, and effected by a (likely Mexican) subsidiary or contractor for a US Airline.

    • BadHairLife says:

      I think you’re right. This story sounds more like someone else fell in love with Paco’s charms and they’re trying to cover it up.

  20. pridkett says:

    Flying with a pet is ALWAYS a risky and dangerous proposition. Pets get lost, injured, and frequently DIE while being transported on commercial air liners. Here’s a full report that contains the aggregate numbers from March 2005 – February 2010.


    Unfortunately, the numbers are not scaled by the number of pets flown by the airline, but you might be able to do some correction in your head. The thing that sticks out? Delta doesn’t injure or kill many animals relative to the number of animals flown (especially wrt Alaska, Continental, etc), but they do tend to lose them.

    • maggiemerc says:

      Yeah I’ve always wanted to do travel with my dog but the sheer danger of a dog on a plane terrifies me.

      I think for a while it was something like 1 in 4 dogs didn’t make it to their destination when traveling via airplane.

      • TacoChuck says:

        1 in 4? Stop making things up based on some hazy memory of something someone told you once.

        Or find some stats, a newspaper article or anything to back up that it was ever that bad.

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      Good information. I must admit, my first thought is that the dog died during transport and they just don’t want to admit it. A friend of mine who works in the airline industry has told me that when pets do die aboard planes (and I won’t even go into how they die), they first try to tell the owner that they lost the pet. I don’t know how often he’s had to do this, or if he was just pulling my chain because of how appalled I was about dogs dying in cargo.

    • icedteagirl says:

      That’s so sad. I will never take my pets on an airplane. It scares me to think of how they might be treated! And of course, the chance that they could DIE. No thanks!

    • commenter99 says:

      How can say pets “frequently DIE” when you do not have any data to support this claim? All the data shows that is that 135 animals died in the 4.5 years from May 2005 through February 2010. Without knowing how many animals in total flew during that time period, you do not know if that death rate is frequent, infrequent, or somewhere in between.

  21. glennski says:

    The saddest thing is that it looks like this dog’s life was really starting to turn around after suffering a lot. But then Delta decided to shit on that and then lie about what happened. Everyone should post this up on their FB, twitter, etc.

    • MamaBug says:

      posted it to my FB – my twitter is sadly lacking in followers…not that i get on it much, lol

  22. dush says:

    Mexican puppy? They probably asked the dog for its papers at the Arizona border but the dog couldn’t produce any so bye-bye Paco.

  23. Sunflower1970 says:

    I’ve got a sneaky feeling Delta didn’t ‘lose’ the dog. One of the employees thought the dog was way too cute and took it as their own.

  24. lehrdude says:

    Good thing Paco didn’t get lost in China…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What’s funny is that if he had been lost in Shanghai, Beijing, or Hong Kong, he’d be living a life of luxury on a silk pillow. I’ve read a lot of articles on dog ownership in China – the people in the cities dote on their dogs like they were children. The people in the rural areas….well, don’t get lost there if you’re a dog. But in the cities, a lot of people have dogs as pets and are trying to get the government to ban their use as food.

  25. ehrgeiz says:

    Wow I feel so bad for him and the dog, I would be livid if this happened to me. Sounds like multiple EECB are in order from Josiah and us.

  26. flyromeo333 says:

    this animal is a living and breathing creature. A 200.00 voucher is thought of as compensation? Who at delta makes up these things?

    Ohh wait,…they misplace people too. So I guess losing your dog isnt important to them.

    On another note, was the OP aware that in order to take the dog out of the country, proper vaccinations are needed? Clearly the OP in this story isnt at fault even if he is…….The doggy picture gives him immunity

    • dulcinea47 says:

      It says in the story that they took him to the vet and got him all the required vax.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Well, what Josiah wrote was, “got him all of his shots,” which doesn’t have to mean vaccinations. It could have been medications. And as some vaccinations are not mandatory under normal circumstances but may be absolutely required if one is to take an animal into the US, maybe Paco didn’t get all of his shots.

        • DoubleEcho says:

          Oh my god, come on dude. Medications? Most vaccines for animals are in syringe form. Most medications are in pill or liquid form, especially for antibiotics. It’s safe to assume that the OP took the dog to a vet that wasn’t in the back alley behind a run down shack. And it’s pretty safe to assume that a vet would give a dog found as a stray, who had obviously been on it’s own for a bit (as evidenced by the ticks), the required boosters such as the Rabies vaccine and/or lyme disease shot. You’re just grasping at straws here.

    • MattO says:

      unfortunately, dogs are seen as property, not animals, when it comes to a law suit – so while i think this is horrendous, and Delta is ridiculous for offering only $200, the OP also cant expect thousands for the dog either.

      THe problem with animals in civil cases is that animals are seen as property. THere is no way to assess the value of something when the value is only in the eye of the beholder – if they wre able to sue for 10k because they “loved ” the dog 10k worth, everyone would just claim they love their dog 10m worth….so unfortunate as it is, there really isnt much they can expect from this.

      again, delta = major fail, and they should have offered not only the $200 pet fee back, but the entire flight, plus $1000 or something….it obviously wont replace the sentiment of the dog, or the value to the op, but it would at least be a nice gesture and make them feel like Delta at least cared at ALL.

  27. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I think best case scenarios is an airline or airport employee stole Paco to have as a pet. Worst case scenario is Paco is dead.

    Did Delta return the carrier?

  28. catchthefever says:

    I have flown several times with my dog in baggage. The airline (American) made me zip tie her crate door in all four corners. I assumed this was standard practice. Yikes.

  29. catchthefever says:

    I have flown several times with my dog in baggage. The airline (American) made me zip tie her crate door in all four corners. I assumed this was standard practice. Yikes.

  30. wkm001 says:

    I just can’t believe this! Once again, an airline has one job. Transport you and your luggage to a destination and they can’t ephing do it. That is ridiculous!

  31. snarkysniff says:

    Wow this is very scary to me. Delta is frequently used for pet rescue transports. The dog was in their care and they lost him. At the very least if they seriously cant produce my dog I would want all money for the vet bills, the crate and the plane ticket. If you bought one from a breeder then paid to fly it and “it got lost” I would expect the same. If he did run away as they suggest, I guess there is some solace in knowing that you left him in much better shape then he was before you gave him love.

  32. joetan says:

    I’d ask for the $200 credit in writing hand delivered then when they arrive with the letter kidnap the fool and offer Delta a refund on the mileage on the car he drove to make the delivery.

  33. Youkbacca says:

    honestly? if i had stock in delta, id be taking it out of my portfolio.

    but delta sucks, so i would never have their shitty stock in my portfolio. if i had a portfolio.

    but damn sure i wont fly delta. losing someone’s dog? id rather them lose an in-law than my dog. actually, id pay extra for them to lose an in-law or two

    id be heartbroken. i just hope this turns into one of those credit card commercials where the dog hitchhikes in trucks and motorcycles to find his way home. but in this commercial, the tagline would be “fuck delta. you’ll still find your way home”

  34. BooBee says:

    I don’t like PETA but heck I’d get them all over this. This is terrible!

  35. ExtraCelestial says:

    OMG! This is the kind of thing that would make me freak the f out. They don’t even know where to start looking for the little guy!! Just, painful. I hope this turns out well. Do update us, Consumerist!

  36. aka_mich says:

    That is the cutest puppy ever, damn the money I hope he makes it to Canada, or at least somewhere, safe. Screw you Delta, just ugh… now words for this.

  37. tonberryqueen says:

    I’ll have to double-check, but I think that Delta is the airline that once lost her dog.

    Turns out that they sent the dog to the WRONG destination airport. Some kind soul eventually noticed that the dog was just sitting there in his carrier for a very long time with nobody coming to claim him and made some calls.

    I’m pretty sure that my sister got a nice, cash refund out of it, not a stupid voucher. And they actually FOUND her poor dog.

    Does Consumerist have any good contact info for a PR-type person at Delta? I’d like to express my disgust with them and my vow to no longer travel with them if they don’t make this right, but that’s different from a customer service sort of complaint.

    (And I know some comments above me mention vaccination/quarantine issues…but…shouldn’t Delta know if that’s what happened? And shouldn’t they be telling Josiah that?)

  38. diasdiem says:

    Would it have been much better if Delta had only lost part of the dog?

  39. TheDudeOC says:

    This is almost too gnarly to be true…but sadly it is. I am really curious to see if and how Delta responds. My guess is some Delta (or other airport employee) in Mexico stole Paco and then came up with the story he just ran off. Either way, Delta’s half-ass offer is unacceptable. $200 (which is only good on their crappy airline) does not equal the life of a beloved pet. I generally don’t get wrapped up in theses PETA type situations, but nothing pisses me off more than terrible customer service. I have 4-5 trips planned this year and was going to fly Delta just so I could have non-stop flights; won’t be doing that anymore. I’ll take the layover just to ensure they never get another damn dime of mine!

  40. Geekybiker says:

    He probably died in flight. It happens. The pet “getting out” is covering themselves.

    • Economists Do It With Models says:

      Well then they are complete fools, since saying “we did everything properly but your dog died on the flight” actually makes Delta sound less bad than whatever is going on here. People generally understand the in-flight risks when transporting animals, whereas what is described here is a whole new and more sketchy level if incompetence.

  41. Dyrenia says:

    Wow…Delta’s lost my business.

  42. icedteagirl says:

    I have no words for this story. This is beyond incomprehensible…beyond appalling, its unfathomable…. wow. Just wow. I truly cannot think of a word sufficient to describe this story.

    Speaking as a huge animal lover and longtime SPCA member….If this were my pet….Delta would NEVER EVER hear the end of it from me!! I would be at every news outlet, every newspaper, facebook, twitter (you can bet this story is going on my feed)…I would be the biggest thorn in Delta’s side! Pets are family members as much as another human, in my opinion. DON’T let them get away with this, Josiah!!

  43. burnedout says:

    OR – someone else decided he was cute and loyal and kept him…

  44. topgun says:

    I would be calling a lawyer. Talk about adding insult to injury. Mexaco City? I hope Paco is not now ingredients to a taco.

  45. JayCor says:

    Why? WHY?? Why did you post this when I’m 8+ hours away from seeing my dog? That’s it… I am not leaving him again… until Monday morning that is.

    Seriously, there is so much hate in my heart for the evil monsters who either orchestrated (e.g., dognapped) or couldn’t care less about this.

    As of right now (~1145 EDT), this story is the only hit for “Delta Dog” on Google News. Hopefully it will get picked up and rebroadcast widely — Delta should not get away with this.

  46. GovtMinion says:

    Wherever you are, good luck to you Paco… you deserve better than what you got from Delta.

  47. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    This is a new low for an airline.

    Next: Delta loses child, offers refund on child’s ticket (child flew for free).

  48. lostdisk says:

    I noticed that he was told the dog was being cared for by a Delta employee. My guess is, that the employee opened the crate to let the dog out for a walk and he ran off.

    Either way, this is just horrible. I don’t know what I would do if an airline lost my dog. I do know this much, I wouldn’t just accept a $200 voucher. I would say fly me back out there to go find her.

  49. scoccaro says:

    Where’s PETA on this one?

  50. adamczar says:

    I think I would have immediately demanded a return flight to Mexico and not left the airport until they gave it to me, and when I got there I would not leave THAT airport until I found my dog.

    My heart goes out to Josiah & Paco and I hope they are reunited soon, somehow.

  51. Dyrenia says:

    If only this had happened a few months earlier, Delta wouldve won WCIA hands down.

  52. c_c says:

    This only reinforces my resolve never to put my dog as cargo. I’ll drive across the country if need be.

    • kerry says:

      Yep. I moved 2100 miles last year and refused to fly with my dog, so I rented a car to drive (we don’t own a car). We spent 4 days on the road and, while my dog did chew through the seatbelt harness I bought for her, we arrived safely and happily.

  53. Dyrenia says:

    This story is starting to get picked up. Google “Delta loses dog” and youll see a ton of news sites picking it up. Hopefully itll make its way around to CNN and FOX, and PETA

  54. TBGBoodler says:

    I kept waiting to read that the folks at Delta told him that Paco is really a rat.


  55. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I wonder if the dog was lost because of some kind of SNAFU between Delta and Customs. Transporting animals internationally can be a pain and require a lot of paperwork. If documentation was lost in the process, a minor failure in the chain could cause all kinds of problems down the line.

  56. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Continental has by far the best pet system. At LAX, for example, they have a pet team with its own cargo office. If your pet has to change planes, they’re escorted in a van from flight to flight. We’ve used them several times on cross-country moves.

  57. notMordecai says:

    As heartbreaking as this story is- my only guess is that someone at Delta stole your dog. :

  58. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    For what it’s worth, I have a lot of contacts in the dog show business (starting with my wife who just got back from judging at a show)…to a person they’ll tell you that transporting a dog on an airplane is a horrible idea.

    The only way that can be acceptable is if your dog is small enough to come onboard with you as your carry-on. So, like, maybe if you have a Boston Terrier or something smaller.

    Otherwise, your crated dog rides in the cargo bay of the plane…which is supposed to be equipped with a light and a heater. Presuming that they work. And presuming that someone remembers to turn them on. Neither of which seem particularly likely to happen.

    It’s cold at 40,000 feet. And dark in the belly of a plane when no one turns on the light. And noisy. Put your dog in there for a cross-country trip and your dog might wind up having to endure 6 hours in a pitch-black freezer at 100Db. Good luck with that.

    On top of that, of course, is the typical “care” your “luggage” gets from airline and airport personnel (to be fair, most luggage problems are the airport’s, not the airline’s). So completely losing your dog is totally possible. Or they might transport the crate into the warehouse and promptly lose it in there buried under other stuff so that they can’t find it again – well, not until your dog starved to death anyway.

    All in all, putting your pet on an airplane is essentially Russian Roulette for your puppy/kitty/whatever. I wouldn’t do it with my worst enemy’s dog.

  59. HoJu says:

    I was already not flying Delta for several other reasons. I’m going to EXTRA-not-fly-Delta now.

  60. Cicadymn says:

    Airline companies complain about how people aren’t flying anymore. It couldn’t be the piss poor service could it?

    I’m still hoping to see some high speed rail transportation one of these days. Airlines are total shit.

  61. Sarcastico says:

    That is one cute dog. This is of little comfort but my guess is he was stolen.

  62. common_sense84 says:

    “he is lost in the Mexico City Airport terrified and starving.”

    It was a stray living on the street. Thus this is a lie. Why do people overly humanize dogs? It really does debase their claims when they do this.

    But it sounds like they let the dog out and the dog ran off. Since it was a stray, this is mostly due to it being used to running off. The claim that this dog was loyal and “trained” sounds like the owner being very ignorant about dogs. Blinded by love, I guess.

    In the end, does Delta have a rule about leashes? To me it would seem that delta should have leashed the dog before letting it out.

  63. BoyceLagmaster says:

    My wife and I have been forced to fly Delta about a dozen round trips between us and one flight has gone without incident.
    Delta is fully staffed by people who just don’t care.

  64. Sarahnoid says:

    I hope everyone who vows to never use Delta as a result of this article will email Delta with this information and a link to the article. http://www.delta.com/emailus/servlet/EmailUs?cmd=go

  65. Bativac says:

    This is just terrible. I don’t know what I’d do if my beagle Ace was lost in transit. I’m so scared of it happening that we never fly anywhere with him.

    Just awful. I hope there’s a miscommunication somewhere, and some Delta employee has the dog safe and sound. I don’t know what Delta could do to make things right for the OP but offering a $200 credit sure ain’t gonna cut it.

  66. AI says:

    I would never fly with my cat unless she was with me in the cabin the entire time. Airlines can’t be trusted, and by law, animals are just property. Maybe if pets were elevated in status by law, airlines would have no choice but to care.

  67. Nick says:

    Sue. Pets tend to have a privileged status in the legal system; they count as a lot more than “lost property.” As the owner, you are entitled to sue for emotional distress (for you and your family) over and above the actual costs of the loss.

    I’d find a lawyer to consult with ASAP.

    • t0ast says:

      Take them to small claims. A kennel lost my family’s dog while we were on vacation after some unknown person(s) broke in and opened up all of the cages one night. While we weren’t able to push emotional damages (and trust me, we tried, but dogs are apparently just “propery”), we were still able to get back every penny we put towards that dog (adoption fees, vaccination, neutering, chipping, etc.).

    • MichiganWolverine says:

      Really? Are you sure about your legal advice. Pets are considered property by most states and the federal government.

  68. MrBobo says:

    The US based airlines are barely even pretending to give a sh_t anymore. It’s an aggregate screwing and individual treatment doesn’t matter. I’m sure they would loose more human passengers and then offer a $200 voucher- if tort law didn’t exist. Poor Paco.

  69. Lisa34 says:

    How awful. I feel so bad for you, your girflfriend and little Paco! :( God bless you for taking him in. I can’t imagine your heartbreak. What an cruel company to neglect a helpless vulnerable animal they are responsible for. I will pray for a miracle.

  70. sufreak says:

    This is so horrible. I’ve posted on facebook, I’m gonna write a letter. Until they fess up to their screw up, they’re on my no fly list. I have no faith in a happy ending, but I can hope for an honest one.

  71. jedsa says:

    I’m as stunned by the callousness of Delta’s response as I am unsurprised by the incompetence that led to the dog’s disappearance. Delta has just lost a customer-even in this age of consolidating airlines, there are choices, and I will choose to fly with other carriers.

  72. Tvhargon says:

    The whole thing!?

  73. Anticorp says:

    Wow, Tungstencoil has a brilliant idea: call them up ASAP and ask for the carrier.

    This really just makes me so mad, but I’m glad you got the word out because neither I, nor anyone I know (nor anyone who anyone I know knows, on and on into the vast obscurity of my highly vindictive, consumers rights and animal-rights-activist social networking contacts) are ever going to fly delta again. Poor Paco. He was lucky to find you, you took such good care of him. I really hope he’s somewhere safe.

  74. MrBounce says:

    Wow, poor dog :(

    I do wonder how he got out of his carrier?

  75. blueneon says:

    By the OP taking home (or attempting to) a stray he found is a wonderful thing. I hope everyone remembers that there are lots of dogs and cats in animal shelters that need good homes. Please visit there before BUYING a dog from a pet store (sometimes shelter animals are adopted there also) or a puppy mill. Then, unless you are prepared to be a puppy parent, please spay/neuter your dogs. a lot of times you can take them to a subsidized clinic at low cost.

    Ok, the PSA is over ;)

  76. vastrightwing says:

    bear with me here, so if a lost dog is worth a $200 coupon, is a missing child worth, say a free ticket? How about a lost elderly family member? $400 coupon? I need to know. There must be some compensation table somewhere.

  77. mrlogical says:

    “Frantic, Josiah called around frantically…”

    Just to make sure I have this right, he wasn’t frantic or anything, was he?

  78. bandit says:

    It seems more likely that an employee stole Paco because of his adorableness. I’m really not sure where the real owner should go from here. I mean, you can sue, but that won’t get the dog back. That really sucks :(

  79. Cantras says:

    From the fact that it would be friendly, and follow a person, and curl up on a bed and piddle outside, I bet it was someone else’s pet at some point. I’m not saying “omg you stole a pet,” especially if it was covered with ticks and had been seen around, but more a comment to the occasional “it was a stray then, it’s a stray now” and “You’re kidding yourself about how loyal it was” comments.

  80. socritic says:

    Hey Josh. Outrageous. I will not only not fly Delta, I will only dissuade anyone i know to never fly Delta by telling them this story. No one should be treated this way.

  81. redheadsrbest says:

    Here is some executive contact information for Delta. Maybe a VP or CEO can get Paco back.

    Perry Cantarutti
    Vice president, sales and customer care
    (404) 715-2600

    Chief executive
    Richard Anderson
    Chief executive officer
    (404) 715-2600

  82. sopmodm14 says:

    you paid for transport, so if delta lost the dog in their possession, or holding it for ransom, i have no idea.

    $200 is the lowball offer

  83. packcamera says:

    I’ll bet the dog is alive, well, and at home with the family of a Delta employee in Mexico City. My guess is that the employee who took the dog home fell in love as so many responders and readers of this post did, and decided to keep the puppy and lie about it.

  84. Floppywesl says:

    Most likely the dog died in transport which is very sad , that is also my my dog,turtle pet Koi and girlfriends all have GPS tags in them for easy tracking…Theres an app for that.

  85. 4402 says:

    We had a heavily medicated dog returning from a brain tumor research project in Minneapolis. Delta loaded him onto the plane, then told my husband that they had overbooked the flight and he had to get off! They were going to send the dog on a different plane! So my husband put up a stink and both were kicked off the plane. We fought with Delta for months, having the brain surgeon write letters, etc. They sent us the voucher. Then they sent us a basket with stuff for a 150 lb. dog. Our dog weighed 30 lbs. We fought some more. There was $1300 dollars involved here, and the dog’s life in the balance. Finally, finally, (my husband is a PhD and knew what he was talking about re. the dog’s endangerment due to longer wait times til we could re-medicate him,e tc) and they caved and sent us all the money. Keep going up the chain of command. Be really noisy. I am checking with husband on who he finally got to. Will repost when I get the information. Heartbreaking story. I am so sorry.

  86. emt888 says:

    This is HORRIBLE! Poor dog…

    I’m seeing another song for this…instead of ‘United Breaks Guitars’, ‘Delta Kills Puppies’

  87. ThunderRoad says:


    Nomination for WCIA 2010. Do I have a second?

  88. agold says:

    I’m about to cry. Time for an EECB, stat.

  89. Just_A_Guy says:

    I’ve posted via twitter (also goes to my facebook), including @delta. This is the most I’ve ever been retweeted, and it’s surely showing up on their twitter account, for whomever reads it.

  90. PBallRaven says:

    My guess would be that the dog is in quarantine by customs. Good luck.

  91. Bohemian says:

    People please stop flying pets on commercial airlines. The conditions are horrible to downright deadly. These businesses could care less about an animal any more than they do your luggage.

    If you have to take a pet drive it. You can even take a pet on certain transatlantic ships. Cunard QM2 has kennels on board.

  92. Invader Zim says:

    Magical Dog unlocks carrier and fleas…..unlikely. what comes after beyond anger…NO DELTA FOR ME and I am telling everyone.

  93. Invader Zim says:

    Arent airports filled with video cameras? Why cant they look at some tape and get a clue

  94. Breve says:

    I fly maybe 5-6 times a year, with 2-3 of those to the US, and on my last trip for the first time I took Delta. I’ve never, ever had a worse experience with an airline ever and that first time will definitely be my last time with Delta.

    But… Losing a puppy? That’s the lowest of the low Delta. Bravo on digging a hole just to lower the bar.

  95. veronykah says:

    I started reading this article and recalled reading a similar story to this about Delta a few years ago.
    A breeder was sending a puppy to a new home and used Delta’s Pets First to send the dog from Ft. Myers FL to Bloomington IN with a switch in Atlanta.
    Basically, the dog got left in Atlanta for 12+ hours til she had someone physically pick up the dog. She was promised it had been let out, fed watered etc but was never let out of the crate and Delta would only release the dog AFTER a fax was sent to them at 11:30 at night releasing the dog.
    To top it all off they wanted to “Start over” the next day to get the puppy to the original destination AND charge her another $200.
    I would NEVER fly my dog with Delta.

  96. tape says:

    it seems almost blindingly obvious to me that someone at Delta stole your dog. I’d be pressing charges.

  97. blogarsay says:

    Dammit, now I’m going to be worried about Paco all weekend.

  98. ktdone says:

    This is the saddest thing I have ever heard. Delta, you bastards!

  99. PleaseKickMeOffConsumerist says:

    Or, the dog was friendly to one of the employees and they decided to keep him.

    Either way, completely unacceptable. I would absolutely demand the carrier back, at least then when they can’t produce it you can assume that he is happy and healthy at one of the employees home.

  100. lostdisk says:

    Guess this isn’t the first time Delta has lost a dog:


  101. Randomsci says:

    Lots and lots of fail both in the comments and this guy’s case.

    1) The US has different regulations about carrier/housing sizes compared to Mexico.
    2) Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entering the United States. This requirement does not apply, however, to puppies less than three months of age or to dogs originating or located for at least six months in areas designated by the U.S. Public Health Service as being rabies-free.
    3) I don’t suppose the guy who posted this complaint did the responsible and contacted the appropriate US government agency to inquire?

    *after 5 minutes of the intergoogles and reading the relevant law*
    USDA–APHIS–Veterinary Services
    Los Angeles International Airport
    11850 S. La Cienega Blvd.
    Hawthorne, Calif. 90250
    Telephone 310.725.1970

    Is probably where the critter is.

    4) What sort of idiot tries to ship an animal from one country to their home country with a layover in a 3rd country. The animal is looking at a minimum of 60-90 days in quarantine.

  102. davidrocks says:

    This is what I hate most about Airlines. You have some really important piece of luggage, or in this case a live animal, and you can’t load it on the plane yourself and make sure that it’s there.

  103. Randomsci says:

    And I should point out as an addendum, if they did put the dog on a later flight my comment about quarantine is probably what happened. God knows I’ve had more bizarre things happen with research animals.

  104. ninjapoodles says:

    Forgive me if this has been addressed in earlier comments, but: I’ve flown many dogs with Delta, and I’m always asked to assign a value to the dog before they’ll take it. I’ve always been honest and reasonable in my assessment of this amount, but it’s any amount I say it is (meaning I don’t provide any kind of “proof” of the animal’s monetary value). I’m wondering what value they assigned to poor Paco, and if that makes a difference in how dedicated a search is conducted when the dog goes missing. I’m recalling the huge national furor, which lasted for weeks, when Vivi the champion Whippet went missing from a Delta terminal after Westminster a few years ago.

  105. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    apparently they’ve lost other pets and paid for the “value” of the pet. although this one was a show dog and they paid some sort of flat fee instead of the saleable value of the animal.


    as a pet owner, i’d be horrified and probably have to be hauled out of the airport hysterical by the police if this happened to any of my animals

  106. doobiewondersmoke says:

    I live on the other side of the country and when traveling home to see friends and family the wife and I drive. We have a dog and cat and that’s the only reason we roll down the road rather than fly. This story is the exact reason I refuse to fly with my pets. Airlines can’t keep luggage in the correct location, there’s no way I’m going to trust them with a member of my family (and yes our pets are very much apart of our family).

  107. biggeek says:

    The last thing you want to do with an animal as territorial as a dog is travel with it. Think of it from the dog’s point-of-view. One moment you’re running free on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta and the next thing you know you’re shoved in a box and thrown on a airplane. No wonder the dog bolted.

    This is just an example of people with good intentions doing a really insensitive thing.

    • ellemdee says:

      Insensitive? They did a very, very good thing trying to save that pup from a short, hard life. Most people would have seen him, maybe thrown him a piece of bread, and kept walking. Maybe he would have starved to death on the streets, maybe he would have been killed, maybe he would have died from all the ticks that were sucking the life out of him, etc. The life of a street dog is bleak, and they wanted to give him something most street dogs will never get – vet care, love, and a home. Unfortunately, while flying is no doubt stressful for a dog (most people don’t seem to enjoy it very much recently, either) it was the best option available at the time to get him home to Canada. They weren’t globe-trotting with the family dog “shoved in a box”, they were rescuing him and trying to get him home.

  108. Tiandli says:

    I would have demanded return of the carrier. If it was double locked, the only way Paco would have “escaped” is if the carrier was severely damaged or forced open.

    Airline baggage handlers have very little care for luggage or property. I can’t imagine what that little dog went through.

  109. Barret7sc says:

    I know someone mentioned this earlier, but I did some digging about pet quarantine procedures. Now had Paco come on the original flight with his new owners, there should have been no problem, as Canada has few regulations on bringing pets into the country.

    However, if he did make it on the flight into detroit, he might be stuck in customs quarantine.

    and I quote from http://www.petfriendlytravel.com/intl_travel
    The section on the United States
    Proof of Rabies Vaccination:
    Dogs must have a certificate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry into the United States. These requirements apply equally to service animals such as Seeing Eye dogs.

    Importation of Unvaccinated Dogs
    Dogs not accompanied by proof of rabies vaccination, including those that are too young to be vaccinated (i.e. less than 3 months of age), may be admitted if the importer completes a confinement agreement and confines the animal until it is considered adequately vaccinated against rabies (the vaccine is not considered effective until 30 days after the date of vaccination).

    So, hopefully it’s just something like this.

  110. starlope says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you Josiah! Do not stop talking about this, emailing people and contacting the media. The more pressure that delta gets from the media the more they will do and maybe someone will find Paco and see your story and you can be reunited. Delta needs to be held responsible. A dog is not a piece of luggage. You can’t just replace it with $200!

  111. DepthChargeEthel says:

    I have a 3 year old Boglen Terrier, and if this happened to me, I’d be frantic. I can only imagine the tremendous loss they must feel. Offering a measly $200 for such a valuable relationship is just a slap in the face.

    Delta Shmelta.

  112. Hanshiro says:

    UPDATE: Delta Offers $380 Plus 2 More $200 Vouchers For Lost Pooch

    Heart Breaking.

    There is something staggeringly wrong when a corporation can somehow lose an entire, irreplaceably precious soul, lie about it, and offer no explanation and write a check to make it all go away.

    F*ck You, Delta. F*ck You.

  113. Bored_Escapist6 says:

    I bet they let the dog go just to spare themselves the hassle of actually sending the dog over.

  114. mantari says:

    I don’t know if someone has said this already, but “escaped” may be disarming corporate speak for “perished in-transit”.

  115. harrison.g says:

    This is ridiculous and so sad, I have friends in Delta Baggage and hope it’s not to late, I’d like to try and help. Please e-mail me your claim # gevirtzmedia@gmail.com

  116. DN says:

    Before you throw stones at Delta you need to hear the whole story. The story says the he escaped from his carrier. My wife working in cargo at Delta in the Atlanta area knows first hand that most carriers that the owners bring their pets in don’t work very well. Most break open very easily and the animals can get out very fast. I’m very sorry for his loss as I have two very loved golden’s in my house. I think Delta has done all they could had has more than likely looked into this and discovered that the carrier was more than likely the problem.

  117. profmonster says:

    I really really hope the dog is just misplaced. Delta should find the dog and stop offering money. No amount of money replaces the dog, and Delta is just adding insult to injury with the useless vouchers.

    this doesn’t help the OP, but I have had to fly with my dog twice (international moves). Once was with Air France and once was with British Airways. Both were amazing, both airlines went above and beyond to check on my dog and assure me that all was well. BA even brought the guy that had loaded my dog, to my seat, to assure me in person that she was stowed in the plane, and he was able to describe her perfectly to me when I asked. Both airlines were very patient and kind about my fears for her safety. If you ever need to fly with your animals, I can recommend these two airlines very highly.

  118. Alex says:

    Take them to court, and force them to pay you for your incredible loss. It won’t make it up of course, but money is obviously the only thing they value, so taking it away from them is the only punishment they will recognize.

  119. Carol says:

    I am appalled that Delta offered a voucher for a live, sentient being. Paco had a chance to live a good life with loving people. Now, where is Paco????? SHAME ON DELTA !!!!!!!

    The problem with this world is that many humans regard animals as objects. Animals feel pain just like humans do.

    There remains a group who are so persistently abused and marginalized that their suffering is ingrained in our everyday lives. If animals could talk, their chorus of cries would drown out every other noise in the world. We are all animals. We are all living, breathing beings who share the same Earth. We all feel pain when we are hurt, and we all have the right to experience kindness and compassion.
    ~Author Unknown~

  120. AckbarsFist says:

    I have a few issues here.

    First of all, you’re getting all up in arms over a stray? It’s not like he was your dog for 10 years that you grew up with!

    Second, are you (Josiah), absolutely certain that Delta lost your dog? Oh was it contracted ground employees? Or what if the dog got out and nobody noticed? In Mexico, stray dogs aren’t exactly unusual, especially in public places such as airports.

    Third, for 2 $200 vouchers and $380 on top of that, Josiah had better take that. Considering that a dog was lost, possibly not by the airline, that he had found for literally nothing, that’s pretty impressive.

    Fourth, I’m quite glad that the “entire” dog was lost. I don’t want pieces of a dog.

    Fifth, Josiah needs to take some English classes. Specifically, he should look up how to avoid run-on sentences.

  121. watuzi says:

    This is just appalling man, I have a dog too, and I will not be flying Delta any time soon in protest of this travesty. I am just mad and sickened by Delta’s lack of compassion.

  122. jiubreyn says:

    Oh my goodness! My kitties are an extension of my family, therefore I can only imagine the pain this family must be going through; not to mention who knows how Paco is doing! I seriously hope this story finds a happy ending in the near future.

  123. PleaseKickMeOffConsumerist says:


    Have they lost half of a dog in the past?

  124. daninater says:

    I work for Delta as a low level ramp employee and I’m certainly not speaking on behalf of the airline when I write this. But has Josiah tried contacting the airport authority in MEX to see if he could track the movement of his dog through the airport the day it was lost by the airline? Airports are filled with cameras.

    One of the downfalls of the “World’s Largest Global Airline” is it’s difficult to deal with a single person or department who knows entirely what’s going on with any given situation. I’m sure he’s been thrown around to god knows how many departments (on hold for 30 minutes each transfer). Contacting the airport authority could bypass the airline entirely to find out what really happened, especially if someone is trying to cover up any mistakes they made in the process.

  125. cdonovan says:

    Someone who works for the airlines obviously stole this adorable dog. They should get a private detective to interview everyone who had access to the dog. The dog may never have even made it on to the plane, it may have been stolen beforehand.~People For The Ethical Treatment Of Pit Bulls

  126. Dyscrasy says:

    First, the headline: “Entire” dog lost? I’d rather have NO dog than a PARTIAL dog… eegads.

    I would demand Delta fly you and your girlfriend free of charge to Mexico City so YOU can look for Paco and get to the bottom of it. They can throw in 6 days 7 nights at a local resort as well. Equipped with your dog carrier, you can scour the airport area, post flyers and generally annoy the Delta employees, and try to engage them in the hunt. This way you can see first-hand what’s going on, squeeze a lot more money from the idiots, and be satisfied (to an extent) that all that could be done was done.

  127. nachtwulf says:

    I think it would be fair to value Paco as you would any other member of your family, or at least as a valued piece of property… say $10.000… which could mean it’s an issue of internal theft. I would pursue it as such… and report it to the police…. publicly.

    Demand that all the employees be interviewed by police, and that Delta produce each and every scratch of evidence pertaining to the whole sordid affair from the paperwork right down to your carrier. I would also include the news media and animal activist groups and ask their help with this since Delta very much doesn’t seem to be taking this very seriously.

    Oh… and twitter Kevn Smith on this, he already has a hard-on for Delta anyway.

  128. kathy dunn says:

    Josiah, don’t ever give up, do whatever you have to – if I were you I would be making such a nuisance of myself to Delta they would fly me back there to look for him, they would seat me in the CEO’s office or whoever is in charge of investigations into these sorts of things, and I would insist that this become very important. Poor Paco, don’t give up! PetRelocation.com is helping, make sure news media know and have them offer a reward for his return, get every pet agency you can involved. It looks like a lot of people are following this story, that is good, and anyone who believes in the power of prayer, pray that Paco is returned safely!! There is nothing like not knowing……..my thoughts, and prayers, are with you. Delta Airlines, step up to the plate!!!! Make sure this dog is found!!!!!

  129. kathy dunn says:

    Josiah, another thing – make Delta explicity tell you what exact steps would have been taken in flying Paco to your home in Ontario. Contact each location along the way. Get news media involved at each loction along the way, force these people to be looking for poor Paco. If it were me, I’d force Delta to take me along each step of the way so I could look myself, so I could talk to people along the way, too!!!

  130. saphireshimmer says:

    Not that you would want to fly with them again but maybe use the voucher to go back and find Paco? And then, when/if you find him, they should let him fly with you in the cabin. AirCanada is letting small animals fly, considering what they did, its the least they could do to allow you that.

  131. SpiderPaintingDollars says:

    Well, they just lost another customer here, too. Why the hell do I want to fly on an airline that thinks it’s cool to loose someone’s pet and offer $200 in all, in return. Uh, excuse me? Do they not get that it isn’t about the money? Hell no.. I’m rooting for you Josiah & Paco. Cute pup. Terrible airline.

  132. quieterhue says:

    I suggest you call the media. They eat up stories like this and it will force Delta to figure out what happened to your dog. They deserve the PR nightmare, and you deserve answers. I truly hope that someone stole your dog and is caring for him as a pet; I don’t want to think about the alternative scenarios.

  133. ParrotSlave says:

    I wonder if this is a different consumer nightmare than anyone realizes. What kind of carrier did they buy? Did they get a P.O.S. from the equivalent of a Dollar Store or a Wal-Mart–i.e., one that would have easily come open during handling? Most animal owners are paranoid about their animals getting out of their cages during travel; I notice a comment that refers to one airline’s practice of requiring extra plastic ties on carriers–no doubt a requirement that resulted from animals escaping.

    A lot of stuff you see in the stores these days you would be better off mailing your money directly to China instead of having to burden the garbage men with yet another P.O.S. that doesn’t work; I am sure that some pet carriers belong in that category.

    There is yet another possibility: I notice that they were hassled about the carrier seeming to be too small despite what their vet supposedly said. It would not be inconceivable that one of the Delta employees or someone else with access to the tarmac thought that the animal was being cruelly confined in too small a space, and decided to “liberate” it, the same way that some animal anti-cruelty groups sometimes do to lab animals.

    I would not be too harsh on Delta without gathering all of the facts first.

  134. Thanatos says:

    $200 credit!? Are you effing kidding me!?

    How bout a few million in punitive damages instead? This guy should sue Delta.

  135. kellkell says:

    Folks he gave up. Other than a small group of people in Mexico looking for Paco (that does not have Josiahs blessing) no other effort has been made. Josiah never took anyone up on suggestions, help offered or even a free flight and stay in Mexico.
    As it turns out, this was a play to shame delta into giving him more compensation. Josiah has put out the same effort as Delta into actually looking for Paco.

  136. Boris says:

    Yeah – Delta likes to give out travel vouchers vs. cash because first off – you can only spend it on Delta stuff and secondly – most people forget to use the vouchers (which are only good for one year from date of issuance) Delta makes out like a bandit. Also – contrary to what they say in their PetFirst literature, they do NOT have climate controlled environments in CVG, SLC, JFK and ATL. Delta’s idea of climate controlled is out on a luggage cart on the tarmac with your animal in the cage you provided. If there is a delay or someone forgot to pick up your animal on transfer flights – good luck! They talk a good game for PR but they really don’t follow through. They could do much better and they know it. They just choose not to, Also, it is a great idea to use the cable ties to secure the door of the container. Delta has a responsibility to make sure the container you have meets their requirements so they should not have left you ship a substandard animal container. You can purchased their approved models from PetFirst.

  137. mdeo says:

    You should have a right to see what happened on the security cameras. Someone knows what happened to Paco. You should keep bothering the airport and Delta until someone helps you.
    At least then you will know. You have a right to know.

  138. brettkling says:

    I see that Delta giving Sky Miles to people who buy their pet prescriptions at PetCareRX.com. I just found this funny considering their past experience with this dog.

  139. lmorgan says:

    How is it that this story got no national tv/press publicity? Could it be that the dog was eventually found?

    I can’t imagine a bigger potential PR nightmare. If Delta really lost the dog and didn’t suffer a national scandal … major bullet miraculously dodged.