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Air Canada opened its new global operations centre to the media during a tour on Aug 20 2013. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Air Canada opened its new global operations centre to the media during a tour on Aug 20 2013. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Air Canada in the doghouse after fumbled response to e-mail Add to ...

Air Canada admits it lost a customer’s precious cargo when one of its workers let a dog out of its crate, and it escaped.

CBS13 reached out to the airline about its pet policy, and we got a response we never expected.

Jutta Kulic is visiting Sacramento for a dog show, but her mind is back in San Francisco. That’s where the search for her dog that never made it to his final destination is now in its fifth day.

“I don’t know whether he was stunned, whether he was scared, whether he was hit,” Kulic said.

Before her friend passed away from cancer, Kulic promised to find good homes for her pets, including Larry, a 2-year-old Italian greyhound.

“These dogs are our family these dogs are the center of our universe,” she said.

And Kulic did find a home for Larry, in Canada.

This week, on her way to a dog show in Sacramento from their home in Ohio, Kulic booked a flight from San Francisco on Air Canada to Larry’s new home.

She zip-tied Larry’s crate several times before leaving him with the airline.

“And I very clearly instructed them never ever to open the door and let the dog out of that crate, unless he’s in a completely enclosed room,” Kulic said.

That flight ended up being cancelled and rescheduled for later that night.

Then came another call from Air Canada.

“They called me at about 6:30, and told me one of their employees had decided to walk the dog,” Kulic said.

Larry had run away, and Air Canada workers searching for the white and brown dog couldn’t find him.

“We’re sorry the animal was lost, because someone was simply stupid,” Kulic said.

Air Canada sent CBS13 a statement saying they have a team looking for Larry.

But we wanted answers about what went wrong — what procedures might not have been followed, and what they’re doing to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s pet.

Instead of answers, we got this email:

“I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog. Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time.”

This message from Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick appears to be intended for a coworker.

When we showed it to Kulic, she was shocked.

“Oh my God,” she said. “I guess I wouldn’t expect anything different from a company that would allow something like this to happen.”

Later on Thursday, we got another response from another Air Canada spokesperson apologizing for the delay in response.

But that spokesperson said they didn’t have answers to our questions, but they’re investigating Larry’s escape.

Kulic is afraid she’ll never see Larry again.

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