Lost Airport Transfer Dog Reunited With Owner

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Lost Airport Transfer Dog Reunited With Owner

By Alëx Elliott
rescue of hunter border collie reykjanes

Photo: Ægir Search & Rescue branch of ICE-SAR

Hunter, the border collie lost for nearly a week after his travel cage fell off a conveyor belt and burst open at Keflavík International Airport, has been found safe.

He was very hungry and has a slight limp on his left side, likely caused by walking so much. Hunter was found about ten kilometers from the airport, near Þórshöfn in Ósabotn.

Rescuers, including his Swedish owner, Katarina Reinhall, had to wade waist-deep out to an islet to reach the scared dog. According to Vísir.is, it took Katarina a long while to regain Hunter’s trust and get him to stop hiding – but once he realized who she was, there was a joyous reunion.

Locals had alerted rescuers to a seal carcass on the islet and some dog-like footprints in the area. Guessing how hungry Hunter must have been, Katarina and members of the Ægir rescue squad made their way there and were not disappointed.

If Katarina intends to honor her promise of a ISK 200,000 reward for whoever found Hunter safely, she will have to award the money to herself. She saw her dog’s cage fall off the conveyor belt as it was transferred between planes en route from Seattle to Stockholm, and she has been hands-on involved in the search operation since the beginning.

She has been critical of Icelandair for its handling of the debacle, while the company has itself admitted mistakes were made. They add, however, that the company transports dogs almost every day without incident. Katarina has nothing but praise for the local rescue squad involved in helping her find Hunter.

Meanwhile the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority has also come in for criticism for what some rescue workers have described as a clumsy response to the case, with a lack of organization. The Authority was nominally in charge of the whole operation.

Hunter had to be taken to the vets to have some tests, as well as to get dry and fed. But with any luck he is already home in Stockholm by now.

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