An Iowa man is facing animal neglect charges after leaving his puppy tied up at an Iowa airport. He said he didn't realize a carrier was necessary to take the dog on the plane. Bigsen Charles, 24, left the dog behind so he could catch a flight to Newark, New Jersey, The Daily Mail reported.
He had already paid the dog's fare and assumed that was all he needed to do. Once told he couldn't take the animal aboard, he abandoned it outside the Des Moines Airport. Read on to find out what Charles said about his decision, what happened when he got home, and where the puppy is now.
Missing Carrier Left Dog Grounded
Charles reportedly said his girlfriend had booked his flight online. She had paid a $50 animal fare so the dog could travel. But he was unaware of a crucial detail—he could only bring the animal on board in a carrier. "I already checked in and didn't want to miss my flight," Charles told The Daily Mail. "I thought if I paid for the dog on the plane they would give her a kennel. I didn't know I had to bring my own."
"I Didn't Want to Leave Her"
Charles said he asked the driver who took him to the airport to look after the dog, but the driver was unable to. After being told by airport personnel he couldn't leave the dog inside, Charles tied the dog up outside. He hoped one of his friends could pick up the dog, but he couldn't reach anyone to make arrangements. "I was crying when I left her because I didn't want to leave her. I bought the dog for my daughter," he said. 'I knew someone would end up taking her."
Seeing the abandoned dog, airport officials contacted Animal Rescue League of Iowa, who sent an animal control officer to retrieve the puppy. Tina Updegrove told The Daily Mail she had been trying to contact Charles, who is facing charges of animal neglect and animal abandonment, since last Thursday but that he didn't return calls until Monday. "He broke the law. He understood he did. If he flies to Des Moines and gets into interaction with police, he can get arrested on those charges," she said.
Puppy Available for Adoption Soon
Meanwhile, the puppy, named Stella, is being cared for by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. She is doing well, Updegrove said. "During the drive from the airport to the shelter, she warmed up to me. Her tail was wagging and she was smiling. She is quite fantastic. Such a sweetheart." Charles verbally relinquished the dog to the Rescue League. She will be spayed and evaluated before being put up for adoption.
Girlfriend Isn't Pleased
As for Charles, if he pleads guilty to the charges, he will pay a fine. If he pleads not guilty, he will likely face trial. Charles told The Daily Mail that "he knows he made the wrong decision." He said his girlfriend isn't happy. "She was angry, but now things are OK. She just wants me to get another dog."