A Vancouver woman is pleading with Westjet to find one of her two cats, after the animal went missing in Vancouver airport's cargo area.
Kelli Seepaul had planned to move to Toronto on Thursday, taking her two cats, Finnigan, a tabby, and Willow, a Siamese, with her.
She was about to board her plane when the airline paged her to say both cats had escaped, after ground handlers picked up their kennel and the bottom fell out of it.
Seepaul helped staff search for the animals in Vancouver airport's baggage area and Finnegan was found, but after four hours Willow was still missing and Seepaul had to fly to Toronto.
Both cats were abused before Seepaul rescued them from the Squamish SPCA in March. Now she's worried she'll never see Willow again.
"They were just leaving out food, hoping she would come out and they would catch her and I explained that you can't just pick her up and catch her because she's an abused cat," she said.
"I just don't know if they're doing enough. Their priority isn't to find my cats but it's to do other things and I just...my priority is to find my cat that they lost."
Westjet says it's doing everything it can to recover the animal and called the incident extremely rare.
In the meantime Seepaul says she's not alone in her distress - Finnegan is worried too.
"They're always together - so he's walking around the apartment calling for her."
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Do Your Airline Research
Research before you go and make reservations early. Airlines offer a limited number of cabin spots for pets, and they are first-come, first-served.
Know the weight, age and kennel size and closure restrictions for the airline you're flying.
Be Ready To Pay
Fees vary for pets, so have your checkbook or credit card ready at the airport.
Find Your Legroom
Know how much room you will have under the seat for your pet and your legs. Seatguru.com lists the dimensions on any seat on any aircraft.
Go For The Window
Ask for a window seat to avoid your pet getting kicked if fellow passengers want to leave their seats.
Keep It On Ice
To prevent accidents, don't give your pet food or water on the flight. Ask for ice cubes and let the animal lick them as she needs them.
Keep Health Info Nearby
Carry a portfolio that includes your pet's proof of rabies, vaccination records, a photo, your vet's name and number, a list of medicines and references from managers of hotels where you have stayed.
Try to fly nonstop.
For international travellers, every country has its own regulations, paperwork and quarantine periods. Be prepared and patient.
What To Keep In The Carrier
Food is not allowed in pet carriers but tape it to the outside in case the flight is delayed or if it lasts longer than 12 hours.
Airline For Pets Starts Flying In Select US Cities
If your pet is flying in cargo, ask how it will be transported from the terminal to the plane. Some airlines have air-conditioned or heated vans.
Put In A Toy
Pack your pet with a toy or a piece of your clothing to reassure your pet while you are separated.