Dog gone: United Airlines mistakenly flies family German shepherd to Japan


With her 7-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, Kara Swindle flew into Kansas City Tuesday on a United Airlines flight. And unfortunately, that news is followed swiftly by another story involving a family pet and an airline mistake. The report says that the family was moving from OR to Wichita and opted to send their German shepherd, Irgo, via cargo. When Swindle went to pick up her dog from the cargo facility, she discovered Irgo was missing and there was a Great Dane waiting, instead.

Since Irgo is a large breed, he had to be transported by kennel in the cargo hold of the plane. "And it has already been a whirlwind of an adventure for moving so I instantly burst into tears just wondering where my dog was".

"They took us back to the warehouse, they showed me the kennel, and the minute I said "Irgo", out pops this great dane", Swindle said. They have our paperwork here saying that this is the correct dog, but we know it's not.

Now, according to a statement from United Airlines, Irgo has been located and is en route back to his family.

Irgo was eventually found in Japan, but initially, United told the Swindles that because Irgo was on an worldwide flight, he may need to be quarantined in the country for up to two weeks, KCTV reports.

United Airlines said Irgo will be put on a plane from Tokyo to Kansas City Wednesday night. But she quickly began to suspect there had been a awful mistake - when an airline employee said something to her about a "beautiful Great Dane" waiting for her.

"At this point, all I can do is be hopeful that my dog is going to be OK and return safely", she told KCTV. I can't cry anymore.

Swindle and her family still don't understand exactly how their German Shepherd, Irgo, ended up across the ocean. "I've cried too much".

A French bulldog puppy named Kokito died on a United flight after a flight attendant made a passenger put her pet carrier in an overhead bin.

According to reports, the pet owner argued with crew staff but eventually put the pug in the compartment after being told it was safe.

According to the Department of Transportation, 24 animals died on planes in the United States previous year.