What's worse than an airline losing a customer's dog? Sending an accidental email dismissing the mishap as being no big deal.
Air Canada is working to get the missing pooch crisis under control after its manager of corporate communications, Peter Fitzpatrick, fired off an email that was intended to be internal but actually reached the inbox of Maria Medina, a reporter from CBS-13 in Sacramento.
Upon hearing that the dog had escaped, Medina wrote to the PR firm representing Air Canada, according to the Toronto Star. The company's PR contact emailed Fitzpatrick for input on how to respond to Medina's questions.
Fitzpatrick wrote, "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 U.S. media spends its time." He intended the email to go to the PR contact. Instead it went to the reporter.
The dog, a 2-year-old greyhound named Larry, went missing from the San Francisco airport after an Air Canada employee let it out of its cage. As of Friday, people are still searching for the dog, according to the Star.
Speaking to the Star about the incident, Fitzpatrick said, "I guess I'm the poster child now for Be Careful with Email."
Indeed he is. The story of Larry is truly a sad one. Larry's owner, Jutta Kulic, was honoring the wishes of a recently deceased friend, who had asked that Kulic find a home for Larry. Kulic did find a home, in British Columbia, where Larry was supposed to go. Kulic is still hoping that Larry turns up alive and well.
Fitzpatrick stressed to the Star that he regrets the email because it makes it seem as if he and the rest of the airline don't care, which isn't true.
From the Toronto Star:
“We actually have gone to a lot of effort (to locate the dog). It’s a big city and it’s a fast dog, so it’s going to take time. Our people in San Francisco are sickened by this.”