A rescue dog named Emily that went missing at Toronto Pearson International Airport after she and four other dogs were unloaded from a plane that arrived from Greece Monday night has been found.
A Toronto-based dog rescue group called “Stray Paws from Greece” said in a Facebook post that the dogs were taken out of their crates by a customs officer when one of them got loose and ran away.
Catherine Long and her husband were driving near the airport when they spotted Emily at the side of the highway.
“We were near the Air Canada cargo area and we thought that was peculiar,” she said. “I went out on the road and called the dog and it came to me. I was really surprised. It came right over and it let me pick it up.”
Long said they decided to drop the dog off at a veterinary clinic in west-end Toronto. Christina DiPasquale, a registered veterinary technician, said Emily spent the evening at the animal hospital after attempts to locate the dog’s owner were unsuccessful.
She said the embedded microchip under the dog’s skin wasn’t registered. However, she said she saw the Facebook post of the missing dog and managed to call the microchip company to make a positive match.
“Sometimes microchipping takes a while in order to register the chip,” DiPasquale said. “Normally when you get your pet microchipped, you should register on the spot.”
DiPasquale said she was contacted by the operator of the rescue group Tuesday morning and a reunion is planned for Emily and her new owners this afternoon.
“She’s very outgoing and social. She’s also pretty nervous,” she said. “Of course she had a long flight and then the airport scare, highway scare as well. But she lets us take her in and out of the cage. We took her for some walks, gave her some food. So she’s a sweet little dog.”
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed to Global News the dog went missing Monday night. Officials did not immediately reveal the exact circumstances about how Emily escaped.
But another rescue group called Cause 4 Paws Toronto said in a Facebook post that the dog got loose around 8 p.m. outside Terminal 3 after a customs officer let it out to go pee.
“The CBSA is pleased to announce that the missing dog, Emily, has been located and is being returned to her new adoptive family,” the CBSA said in a statement Tuesday morning.