Dog escapes cage on plane, killed by car

December 12, 2008 5:56:31 PM PST
A couple from Staten Island, flying with their dog in the cargo hold on a trip from Greece to JFK, is demanding an apology after their pup got out of its cage, ran out of the airport and was killed by a car. "He was a wonderful part of the family," Lisa Lonuzzi said. "This is so upsetting"

Lonuzzi says she was given the runaround before Olympic Airlines offered her an explanation as to where her 1-year-old terrier, Leo, was after he went missing at JFK International Airport.

Lonuzzi says she, her boyfriend and Leo were returning from vacationing in Greece when the pooch didn't turn up on the baggage carousel.

"We said we're missing our dog, our dog never came out," she said.

On the way home from Athens, Leo was packed in his crate. But when the plane landed, there was no sign of him. Just his crate, without a door. The airline said the dog ran out of the baggage area, and workers were unable to stop him.

Lonuzzi says she left the airport and went home without Leo. But the next day, she received word that a dog matching Leo's description was found dead on Rockaway Boulevard. The dog was Leo, and she recovered his remains.

"It's negligence and callousness of the airline not to call us back," she said.

An Olympic Airline spokesman offered this statement: "It is a very rare event. It's a very regrettable event. We have apologized repeatedly to the passengers."

But Lonuzzi says she wasn't offered an apology, and that hurts.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Thalia Patillo

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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