Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Public safety

Dog still missing after escaping crate on Tampa International Airport tarmac

TAMPA — A family's dog has been missing since Wednesday after she chewed through her crate and ran across the Tampa International Airport tarmac before she was loaded on a Delta flight to Bermuda.

Brady was last seen running into a wooded area, said airport spokeswoman Emily Nipps. Her devastated family has been eagerly awaiting updates from their new home in Bermuda.

"We really want to get this dog safely back to her owners," Nipps said.

But as of Friday morning airport security, animal control, Delta staff and volunteers were still befuddled: Where could the 4-year-old hound mix be?

The answer might be roaming by a nearby bar, according to sightings posted to a lost pets Facebook page. Nipps wasn't able to confirm the dog was at the bar, but said the dog's owners, Christine Pennell and William Gideon, are taking a flight back to Tampa on Friday night.

"Airport security told us they would be back out looking first thing this (morning)," Pennell wrote on Facebook Friday around 8 a.m. "My husband is calling for updates at TIA this very minute."

Nipps said a Delta worker was loading cargo onto the plane when Brady chewed through the metal and escaped.

"Animals are transported at airports all the time," Nipps said. "It's very unusual for a dog to get out of a metal crate the way she did."

Gideon told ABC Action News he paid $2,500 for his beloved pooch to be flown to Bermuda.

Since the dog went missing, Nipps said the airport has worked with animal control to set out humane traps with food and water. Volunteers have combed the perimeter of the airport's property. Airport employees even used a infrared camera Thursday night to try to spot the dog in the woods.

Brady is light brown and has white fur around her eyes and down her snout. Nipps said she likely has injuries to her mouth from biting at the crate.

Delta planned to meet with the family after they return to Tampa on Friday night, Nipps said. In a statement, the airline said it has been in contact with the owners.

Gideon has had Brady since she was a puppy. Pennell wrote in a Facebook update she's been in contact with airport security every hour, and the latest sighting gives her hope Brady will be found safe.

"She's like our child," Pennell said.

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

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