A Kansas family whose dog was mistakenly flown to Japan is expected to be reunited with it later this week.
Kara and Joseph Swindle, along with their children, are in the process of moving to Kansas from the West Coast.
Kara Swindle and her children flew into Kansas City on a United Airlines flight.
When they arrived, they went to a United Airlines cargo facility to pick up Irgo, their 10-year-old German Shepherd. After arriving, they discovered a Great Dane dog.
The Great Dane dog was scheduled to end up in Japan.
When the plane landed in Japan, officials were able to locate Irgo. He will see a veterinarian and then be put on a flight to Wichita, where he is expected to be back with the family Thursday evening.
Still, Swindle is concerned with the flight back home.
"I don’t know if he’s going to be able to sustain this flight, because he is a 10-year-old dog, and he’s never been on a flight before," she said. "I honestly don’t know if he’s going to survive this flight."
Swindle said that United didn’t know how the mistake happened, but she was told by the airline that the kennels were similar.
United Airlines paid for Swindle and her children to stay at a Marriott Hotel near the airport Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for the airline issued this statement to KCTV5 News.
"An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."
United Airlines recently changed their pet policy, limiting what animals are allowed in the plane's cabin. The changes follow an incident in which a passenger attempted to bring an emotional support peacock onto a plane. Small dogs, inside a carrier that fits under a passenger's seat, are typically allowed.
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