LATAM Loses Family's Dog, Mounts Search Effort in New York
The last time the Rolon family saw their dog Logan was at the LATAM check-in desk at New York's JFK airport. Now, an upset family is searching for their missing animal, which was lost by the airline.
On August 27, Jonathan Rolon's parents were headed back to Paraguay after visiting him in Connecticut. Ana and Robert Rolon made their way to JFK to fly to Paraguay on a LATAM flight, which would presumably connect in a major LATAM hub like Lima (LIM) or Santiago (SCL) to Asunción airport (ASU) in Paraguay.
However, when they arrived in Paraguay, the airline said that Logan didn't make the flight due to a "ramp issue." Jonathan Rolon headed back to JFK to see if he could locate Logan — but when he spoke to a LATAM representative, they said an airline employee had take the dog home for reasons which are unclear.
Logan, a labradoodle, was apparently taken to the employee's house and then ran away soon after. All Rolon was given was the worker's name, and was encouraged to search the cross streets where the dog was last seen.
NBC New York reports that since the dog's disappearance, LATAM has been actively searching for the dog's whereabouts. The airline says it's posted nearly 600 posters in a 30-mile radius around JFK, which includes Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County. NBC reports that "a team of over 50 LATAM representatives has been involved in the search," and police have been notified regarding the missing animal.
The Animal Care Center of New York, which helps locate lost animals and shelters rescue animals, started searching for Logan on August 29. There's also a reward for anyone who locates the pooch.
While NBC’s report identified the dog as an emotional support animal, a LATAM spokesman said in an email to The Points Guy that Logan was not an emotional support animal. “LATAM deeply regrets the situation and will continue to provide all the recourses at its disposal in the effort to reunite Logan with his family,” the airline said. LATAM says it will pay to fly Ana and Robert Rolon back to New York to help search for their dog.
This isn't the first time an airline has had a serious issue with a traveling animal. In March, United took responsibility for causing the death of a dog onboard a flight.
H/T: NBC New York
This story has been updated to include LATAM’s statement to TPG and to note that the airline disputes NBC New York's identification of the dog as an "emotional support animal."