Passengers traveling out of New York’s LaGuardia International Airport to Memphis International Airport were met with a delay on Wednesday morning after a runaway dog named Byrdie decided to take to the airports runway.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback had traveled on four other occasions with her owner Austin Varner however on the fifth flight she escaped from her enclosure and took to the runway.
A short time after boarding Delta Air Lines Flight 1573 the dogs owner was made aware of the incident when officials took her outside of the plane and proclaimed:
“Ma’am, your dog got loose and we’re trying to catch her.”
According to Varner:
“The staff at LaGuardia and Delta were great. They kind of had detained her; they took me out there and she came right to me.”
Passenger John Vincent told Commercial Appeal:
“We saw the dog running, and there was a total of 11 trucks trying to corner the dog. We watched it run under a plane and run around in a grassy area. The dog was scared.”
After Byrdie was placed back in her kennel Varner revealed that there had never been problems with the kennel in the past, leading her to wonder if the “door was opened” somehow, allowing Byrdie to escape. Eventually airport officials placed 10 zip ties on the cage to ensure Byrdie’s safety.
Varner says that when the plane landed the pilot personally let her know that Byrdie was still secure in her pen. According to Varner she wasn’t surprised since she joked with airport personnel that “superman couldn’t escape” from the cage once 10 zip ties were added.