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Puppy leads NYC airport staff on chase

  |   April 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

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NEW YORK, April 26 (UPI) -- A 14-month-old puppy escaped from her carrier while being loaded onto a plane in New York and led workers on a 10-minute chase.

Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said the Rhodesian ridgeback puppy, named Byrdie, was being loaded onto a Delta flight to Memphis Wednesday morning at LaGuardia International Airport when the pooch got loose and led workers on a chase around the airport, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Austin Varner, 26, the dog's owner, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal she was approached by LaGuardia and Delta staff shortly after boarding the plane.

"They took me physically outside the plane and said, 'Ma'am, your dog got loose and we're trying to catch her,'" Varner said. "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.

"I don't think there's any way to know if the kennel was the issue or the door was opened," Varner said. "When we finally got her back in her cage, they put 10 Zip Ties on it."

Varner said Byrdie had ridden in airplanes four times prior to Wednesday without any incidents.

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