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Dogs

Airline’s Costly Mistake Prevents Honduras Rescue Dog from Reaching His Forever Home for Weeks

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Caesar is finally home.

The Maltese pup was found on the streets in Honduras by Father Hector Abouid and his wife, according to NBC 5

After falling in love with the fluffy little dog, the Abouids decided to bring the pet home to Chicago in September. The couple was relieved to experience no issues getting the dog on a United Airlines plane to the United States. Unfortunately, when Caesar had his four paws in America, that’s when things stopped being easy. A United States customs official prohibited the pup from coming into the country because Caesar only had his rabies shot 12 days before. Federal regulations do not allow animals into the country until 30 full days after their rabies vaccination.

This meant two more plane flights for Caesar, one back to Honduras to stay with Father Abouid’s family and another to return to Chicago once the full 30 days were up. While these extra trips and the price tag that came with them were frustrating, the couple was more upset over the misinformation they received from United Airlines.

“When I went to the airlines, I asked them, ‘Is there anything I need to know?’ ” Father Abouid told NBC5. “We went to the United office, who did not give us the right information. We checked in and the clerk did not give us the right information. … As a consumer, I come to you because I am going to be traveling with the dog in your plane, not in my plane — so you should know what regulations you should have in your plane.”

Abouid told the station that the airline admitted their mistake but left him with the bill for the two extra flights for Caesar. A cost he believes would’ve been much less if the airline told him the correct regulations about rabies shots and traveling pets.

Once NBC 5 contacted United about the issue, the airline ultimately agreed to pay for the costs the Abouid’s incurred sending their dog to Honduras and back.

“Our Customer Care team has been working with Fr. Abouid since early Sept. to rearrange Caesar’s travel to Chicago and we’re pleased that they were reunited on Sept. 17. As a courtesy because of the confusion about the vaccination requirements, we’ve refunded the fees Fr. Abouid paid,” a United airlines spokesperson said in a statement to NBC5.

The good news is that Caesar is in the U.S., adjusting well to his new forever home and is now the proud owner of quite a few frequent flyer miles.