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United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

16 March 2018

The dog's owner, Kara Swindle, said her family and their pet were flying with United Airlines from OR to Kansas City, via Denver on Tuesday.

Irgo, a 10-year-old German Shepherd, found himself on a flight bound for Japan while his family landed in Wichita, Kansas on Tuesday, March 12, CNN reports.

But that wasn't the case.

When they arrived to pick him up in Kansas City - they were presented with the wrong dog.

But when they went to the United Airlines cargo facility after landing, they discovered a Great Dane dog waiting for them, who was supposed to end up in Japan.

Airline officials in Japan said they have put Irgo on a flight back to Kansas City but it is unclear when the dog will arrive.

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She says she doesn't understand how the mistake happened since her dog's kennel had his name on it.

Panic quickly set in over the fate of Irgo, who the Swindles adopted when he was 4 years old.

The mishap Tuesday came a day after a highly publicized incident in which a 10-month-old bulldog died in the overhead bin of a flight from Houston to NY.

The mix-up happened a day after another dog suffocated in the overhead bin during another flight.

According to CBS affiliate, KCTV, Kara Swindle was flying into Kansas City Tuesday night, accompanied by her two children and Irgo, the family's German shepherd. The airline said they are investigating the incident "to prevent this from ever happening again".

United Airlines had a rough week when it's come to dogs on flights. "I just want to know where my dog is", she said. "I don't know what else to do at this point".

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United told the dog's owner it would fly him back on a regular flight but changed its mind as the scandal surrounding its treatment of another dog spread in the US.

United had the highest number of animal deaths and injuries of any USA airline in 2017, based on Department of Transportation data.

The flight was more than 11 hours long, but Swindle told KNSW she was glad to see Irgo "being treated like the king he is".

"I'm hoping and praying that he will stay alive".

A spokesperson for the airline issued a statement to KCTV5 News explaining the incident.

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United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City