Family 'overjoyed' rescue dog found after escaping from Pearson Airport employees
Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 9:17AM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 11, 2017 6:40PM EDT
A rescue dog who escaped from airport employees after arriving in Toronto from Greece was dodging cars on Airport Road before being rescued by a passerby.
Emily, a 15-pound Pomeranian and Papillion mix, took off Monday night when Pearson Airport employees took her and four other rescue pups out to relieve themselves.
The dogs were brought to Canada by Toronto-based adoption group Stray Paws Rescue.
Co-founder Tasoula Somers said it was the employees who offered to let the dogs out while the volunteer escorts were being interviewed by customs agents.
At that time, the dogs had been in their crates on a 15 hour flight and held for an additional three hours at the airport.
The adoption group says the dogs were let out in an unfenced area.
“We said okay because they’re customs, we don’t have a choice,” Somers said. “We then received a call from commercial customs that one of the dogs had escaped and ran away and that’s all we knew.”
Canadian Border Services Agency confirmed Emily was found shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The small dog was found on Airport Road by a woman and her husband who were on their way to dinner Monday night.
“She was shimmying between two or three lanes,” Catherine, who did not provide her last name, told CP24 on Tuesday.
“She was wide eyed looking quite frightened but she had a bandana on and looked in good condition, so we thought she had probably gotten away from somebody who obviously cares about her.
Catherine said they pulled over and called to the dog, who walked over without hesitation.
They brought the pup to Richview Animal Hospital in Etobicoke in hopes of identifying her through a microchip but their attempts were unsuccessful.
Veterinary technician Christina Dipasquale said Emily stayed overnight at the hospital and lapped up lots of attention from clinic staff.
“We held her here (and) we gave her a nice warm bed, some food and water,” she said. “This morning I saw the news report that a dog had gone missing and when I saw her face I knew for sure it was her.”
Dipasquale notified Stray Paws Rescue of Emily’s whereabouts through their Facebook page and soon confirmed it was in fact their missing pooch.
“There were a lot of tears from myself and her. When she started saying the microchip number, we were getting halfway through the number, we were fairly confident it was her… She said she had a bandana on,” she said. “It was very happy. I’m very happy it turned out this way.”
Earlier, Somers said airport officials weren’t forthcoming about how the dog went missing in the first place.
“They told us to wait and that they’re looking for the dog. No one else has come out, nothing… absolutely nothing,” she said. “Five came and arrived, were made to wait in the back, and only four came out because one escaped under the hands of customs officers.”
Emily’s new family described feeling “heartbroken” when they learned that it was their pup who escaped.