Delta Airlines Loses Dog: Family Starts Care2 Petition for Help

The Canadian couple who rescued a homeless dog from a beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, only to have him lost by Delta Airlines, has come to the Care2 website for help in finding their pet – Paco. 


Josiah Allen and his girlfriend Erin Docking have received more than a thousand signatures after they created a petition called: Tell Delta Airlines to PLEASE FIND Paco!  The pair hopes to have 10,000 people sign the petition so they can persuade Delta Airlines to keep looking for their dog. 


Allen and Docking have received conflicting information from Delta Airlines ever since Paco failed to arrive on a flight from Mexico City to Detroit.  They want to know what happened to their dog and are heartsick that Paco may be alone somewhere hungry and frightened.  The airline appears to have stopped looking for Paco and has instead offered a compensation package of approximately $700 to Allen and Docking.


The couple found the little stray dog on a beach in Puerto Vallarta while they were on vacation visiting friends.  He appeared to be a cross between a Jack Russell terrier and a Daschund.  They fell in love with the small white pup and decided to find out how to take him home with them.  They took Paco to a local veterinarian where he was treated for an eye infection, ticks and received the necessary vaccinations to allow him to enter the U.S.


“We soon discovered that this dog was a very lucky find, and that it would be loyal and friendly to my girlfriend and I,” Allen wrote in a letter to  “It would walk by my side along the beach and along the sidewalks, went to the washroom outside, didn’t bark at cars or other dogs, and would sleep on the bed next to us curled up in a ball quite contently.”  


The couple bought Paco an airline-approved pet carrier and paid the costs to have him travel in the cargo section of the plane back to Detroit.


The first leg of the trip from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City went well, but once Allen and Docking switched from AeroMexico to Delta Airlines, the fiasco began.  They were told that their carrier was too small and were required to sign a form releasing Delta from any claims if Paco was injured.  The couple was then assured the dog would be traveling on their same flight so they removed him from his carrier, gave him a bathroom break and handed him over to the airline. 


But when the plane landed in Detroit, Paco was nowhere to be found.  First Delta said they forgot to load the dog on the plane, but would see that employees would care for him until he could be transported on the next flight.  They promised to deliver Paco to Allen’s home.


When Allen checked on Paco’s status the next day, Delta employees didn’t seem to know about the dog or his whereabouts.  After many confusing hours Allen was finally told that Paco had escaped from his carrier on the tarmac and had run away.  Delta offered Allen a cash settlement for the fees he had paid to fly Paco to the U.S. and a credit toward a future flight.  


Delta Airlines released a statement saying, “Our staff have conducted exhaustive searches to locate the dog which escaped from its kennel on May 3 in Mexico City.  In the meantime, we have been in contact with the dog’s owner to inform them of the situation and to offer our sincere apologies that we have been unable to recover the dog.”


Allen wrote on the Care2 Petition, “There is no excuse for this kind of situation to take place, and I expect that when you pay to have a live animal flown with you to take him home, that Delta Airlines would take every precaution and action needed to make sure that is what happens.  My dog is likely either still in his carrier in a corner, having not eaten or drank for over 48 hours, or he is lost in the Mexico City Airport terrified and starving.”


Josiah Allen and Erin Docking told CNN they feel responsible for the disaster because Paco trusted them to take care of him.  They want a detailed account from Delta Airlines, including why they were misled and they want the airline to continue their search.




Click here to sign the petition that may save Paco’s life and bring him home to his family.



Josiah Allen - Facebook


Robert B.
Robert B8 years ago

It is the airline's duty to do the right thing and find that dog! No matter what the expense.

Janice P.
Janice P8 years ago

I sincerely hope this family gets their dog back. I almost had the same experience in 1984 with that same airline. Fortunately, I was sitting at the window seat close to the cargo hold, when I saw (during a stop in another city) the cargo handlers remove my Scottish Terrier's travel case from the hold and place it on one of its trucks, driving him away. I immediately told the stewardess, who took care of the situation. Unfortunately, my dog had to be put on another flight, but at least we wound up at the same destination. No telling what would have happened to him, had I not been paying attention. Don't those cargo workers READ the tags on the cases?

Sa R.
Sa R8 years ago

Any news from Delta?
Fingers crossed.

Diane A.
.8 years ago


Carol H.
Past Member 8 years ago

Is Paco worth a lot of money in the marketplace because if he is maybe someone stole him to sell him in Delta itself they had better find this wonderful pet the sooner the better.

Something happened like that in Miami but it was a black cat and I don't think it was ever found.

This story is heart breaking I really don't have the words.

Kiki Dubayu
Kiki Dubayu8 years ago

Aww i'm sorry! That is horrible! I hope they find him!

Fenny D.
Fenny D8 years ago

Reading this news...remind me of the movie called "Hachiko". Hachiko, a dog flew from Japan to America... somehow... it lost and then a profesor found Hachiko on his way home. Then the profesor keep Hachiko. That movie was really touching :( and it based on a true story.

I hope delta found Paco and return it to the owner.. Paco please survive.

Kathy Varga
Past Member 8 years ago

No amount of money can replace a family member, even a pet! We flew our Siberian Husky dog, also a shelter dog, from Seattle to LA and then onto Sydney Australia. He flew unaccompanied and we had no problems or dramas at all. I am so happy that everything went well for our dog, I dont know what I would have done or the guilt had this happened to our dog! I wish Paco all the best and hope he is found and returned.

Cheri Klamm
Cheri Klamm8 years ago

This is an example of why I will NEVER fly one of my animals on any public airlines

Vinessa L.
Vinessa L8 years ago

This is so horrible and sad. What a disgrace!!! Poor dog I hope they find him. =(