Woman says mix-up at Atlanta airport left her dog in a crate for 2 days

ATLANTA — A woman is thankful to have her dog after what she calls a horrible experience at Atlanta’s airport.

She told Channel 2's Michael Seiden the dog arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday but when she went to pick it up, she was told someone else left with her paperwork.

It took two days for her to get the dog. It's just the latest mishap involving a pet and a major airline.

In this case, an airline employee made a mistake that forced a puppy to spend the entire weekend alone inside a cargo holding facility.


Richmond the puppy arrived in Atlanta after flying on a Lufthansa flight from Germany.

"I was actually hired by Ray Abbey out of North Carolina to pick up the dog for him," Trish Klotz told Seiden on Sunday.

Before she could hit the road, Klotz said she was at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and agents informed her that she did not have the proper paperwork to claim Richmond, so she went back to Lufthansa.

“They looked in their computer and said, 'Oh! We have a horrible problem. We gave the papers to somebody that they didn’t belong to and we have their papers on their dogs," she said.

It was a major mistake that may have been a case of mistaken identity.

"There were two dogs. They came form the same breeder. You definitely have different documentation and different color," she said.

A spokesman for the largest German airline issued an apology to Channel 2 Action News on Sunday:

"We regret the documentation error and delay in release of the dog. Upon notification of the error, Lufthansa Cargo swiftly worked to obtain US Customs clearance for the dog, transferring him into the care of an approved kennel where he was cared for until he was picked up  this afternoon by the customer."

But it's not enough for Klotz.

“Your error shouldn’t be the dog’s problem. The dog should be able to be released and go to his family and get out of his crate," she told Seiden.

When Seiden called the airline spokesman, he said that his airline would take care of all the kennel and terminal fees incurred during this major mistake.

As for Richmond, she's expected to be delivered to her new owner by midnight.