Dog abandoned at Iowa airport after owner was told he couldn’t be taken on flight over kennel

A dog was abandoned at an Iowa airport after its owner was told that the female puppy couldn’t be taken on the flight because they didn’t have the right type of kennel.

The dog was discovered tied up outside the Des Moines airport on 29 December after her owner couldn’t get on a flight with her.

The CEO of Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Iowa, Tom Colvin, told NBC’s Today that the rescue centre was called to the area by airport staff after the owner “tried to go through the flight process without the proper kennel”.

Mr Colvin told NBC that the owner attempted to get on the flight, was rejected, and later returned and boarded the plane without the dog.

Officials said that they have identified the owner, whose name hasn’t been made public, and that the incident is under investigation.

Mr Colvin thinks “it wasn’t very long” that the dog, who the centre has named Allie, was tied up outside the airport. He noted that the weather “was a lot better than it was a few days prior... during the sub-zero wind chills”.

Allie has been taken in by the centre and isn’t up for adoption as the investigation remains ongoing. The one-year-old dog has seemed upbeat despite the ordeal.

A dog was left at an airport in Iowa after an owner was told that he couldn’t be taken on the flight (Screenshot / Animal Rescue League of Iowa / Instagram)
A dog was left at an airport in Iowa after an owner was told that he couldn’t be taken on the flight (Screenshot / Animal Rescue League of Iowa / Instagram)

Mr Colvin said the dog is “very friendly and loved everybody from the airport staff that came out, brought her a blanket, stayed with her, loved her, giving her all the attention until our animal services officers came out and picked her up. She’s very sweet”.

He added that “it certainly doesn’t look likely” that she’ll be reclaimed after the investigation. When the probe has concluded, she’ll be up for adoption.

According to Iowa state law, abandoning an animal is a misdemeanour, with the level of punishment depending on the harm done to the animal. Fines can range from $105 to $8,540 and prison time from 30 days to two years.

While Mr Colvin said this is likely his first time dealing with an animal abandoned at an airport, he added that “unfortunately, abandonment does happen a lot and for various reasons”.

“The takeaway on this is that lots of people travel with their pets. And that’s great that they do, it just simply means that they’ve got to prepare,” he added. “They’ve got to look ahead, find out what the requirements are, make sure they have the necessary documents for their pet, rabies certificate, those types of things.”

Mr Colvin said Allie is set to come to “a great home. No question about it”.

“We do a high level of adoptions at the Animal Rescue League and with this attention, she is really, really going to get a good [home]. She’s gonna have a list of people that want to adopt her,” he told NBC.