A border collie was lost at Keflavík International Airport last Friday when his cage broke whilst being transferred between planes.
“We at Icelandair of course regret the loss of the dog and the mistakes made as he was transferred between the company’s planes,” Icelandair information officer Guðjón Arngrímsson told RÚV. The dog, whose name is Hunter, is still being searched for in the Suðurnes region.
Search & rescue workers were searching yesterday, alongside a group of local residents, although Hunter has not been seen since Friday evening, when he was spotted outside the airport perimeter.
Hunter’s owner, a Swedish woman who was on her way from Seattle to Stockholm, is offering a ISK 200,000 (EUR 1,290/USD 1,750) reward for the safe return of her best friend. Icelandair is also offering two free flights to whoever returns Hunter safe and well. The company rented a helicopter on Sunday to search for the dog, without success.
“We reported it straight away to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and to the police, and we have been working with them to find the dog,” Guðjón says. “We transport animals of this kind almost every day without anything going wrong, but in this case it is clear mistakes were made. Most people expected the dog to be found quickly, but that has unfortunately not been the case.”
Police and rescue workers have been involved in the search for Hunter, who is an eight-year-old black and white border collie. As Hunter is not a legal migrant to Iceland (having not spent four weeks in quarantine), dog owners near the airport are being asked to look after their own dogs and not to let them come into contact with Hunter – wherever he is. Hunter is correctly vaccinated, but it is still possible he could carry diseases or parasites not otherwise found in Iceland.