It appears Joey the dog, who was left behind in Germany due to anxiety after his family boarded a flight to Chicago last week, isn’t coming home as planned.
Dawn and John MacEnulty said they were told Joey would be flown home free of charge Wednesday, but on Tuesday they received word their dog would no longer be on that flight.
Originally from St. Louis, the MacEnulty family said that after living in Germany for a year, they were moving back to the United States following the death of John MacEnulty’s mother.
They booked their flight through United Airlines on March 15, but used a company called Gradlyn Petshipping to handle the transport of Joey and the family’s cat, Molly, per the airline’s recommendation.
But Gradlyn told the family it was unable to book the pets on the same flight as the family because United Airlines had suspended its PetSafe reservations program beginning March 20.
The animals were instead scheduled to be on a Lufthansa flight departing 30 minutes after the family’s flight, and they were cleared to fly.
Upon landing, the couple said they turned their phones on and received a text message telling them Joey was taken off the Lufthansa flight because he was anxious and had scratched his nose. Molly the cat was on the flight and arrived Thursday evening.
“We got a text that they had to pull him off the plane and we did not know much more than that,” said Dawn MacEnulty.
Lufthansa Group said in a statement that the family’s dog was “kept from flying and remained from Frankfurt as he was not fit to fly according to the veterinarian that examined the animal.”
“We are working closely with United Airlines and once the dog is given the approval to travel, he will be reunited with his family,” the airline said in a statement.
The family was told the dog would be flown to Chicago as soon as he is healthy with no additional charges.
But video later showed Joey the dog furiously biting at his kennel with what appeared to be blood on his nose once again.
“We were expecting him with a few scratches on his face cause that is what he does in the kennel,” said John MacEnulty, who noted Joey has separation anxiety and gets upset when he’s in a kennel.
The family said a veterinarian gave Joey a unapproved prescription for the flight to Germany a year ago, but were unable to get a German vet to do the same for his flight back.
It remains unclear when or how the dog will be returned to the U.S.
Gradlyn did not respond to NBC Chicago’s requests for comment.
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