Dog Dad Desperate to Find Jack Russell Terrier Lost by Handler at Melbourne Airport

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It's every pet owner's worst nightmare. Jason Whatnall of Australia was heading off to the United Kingdom to start a new life. But his plans had a major wrench thrown in them when he learned that his Jack Russell Terrier had evaded being boarded on his plane at the Tullamarine Airport.

Whatnall had total trust when he handed off his dog Milo to pet transport company, AeroPets.

But when he landed he learned the terrible truth. "I got a phone call saying that Milo had escaped and taken off and was now missing somewhere in the Tullamarine industrial estate about 5 km from Melbourne Airport," 10 Play reports he said.

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"My partner and I turned around and searched around Tullamarine, but we couldn’t find Milo," he recalled.

Whatnall was understandably shocked. He was that when he asked what happened to his Jack Russell Terrier, the answer he was given was "vague."

"It’s not clear exactly what happened. But it was done in an open area without closed gates. I think there weren’t real processes in place," he said. "I’m hoping the company will come up with another plan, but honestly, it’s been very frustrating," he admitted.

A spokesperson for AeroPets later said that Milo had bitten the employee who was bringing him from the travel container to the warehouse.

"We advised the owners what happened immediately who came in and helped with the search for a few hours. The owners of Milo then took a flight out of Australia before finding Milo," they said.

AeroPets told 7 News that they've since hired animal rescuers and flown in staff from Brisbane to help find the pup.

"We have handed out hundreds of flyers in the area to neighborhoods and businesses to assist and put food and cameras out at night to help, and have engaged social media groups," the company said in a statement.

Nigel Williamson, who has been tasked with rescuing the Jack Russell, said that because Whatnall isn't in the country, he's been playing a recording of his voice over a loudspeaker.

On April 2 there was a small victory. Milo was caught on motion sensing cameras for the first time close to a paddock near the airport. It was in an area where the rescuers hadn't been looking so they missed him.

Milo is still missing and Whatnall is hoping the airline will find him soon.

"Our pets are like our babies, and we really expect that they’re going to be looked after and safely transported when we’re passing on our pets into care,” he said, before sending his sincerest thanks to the many people who have been out looking for Milo too.

"That’s been amazing, and it’s kept me hopeful that he’s going to be all right," he added.

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