Airline Loses Navy Petty Officer’s Dog

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Josh Bulla and his dog Congo were flying back to the United States after serving for three years with the U.S. Navy in Guam. When Bulla landed in San Diego he went to go pick up his best friend from the cargo area, but he wasn’t there and the airline couldn’t tell him where Congo was.

Bulla and his wife have had Congo since he was a puppy. The Navy petty officer has been stationed in Guam for three years and Congo has been right there by his side the whole time. Bulla was being transferred to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California when he and Congo flew on United Airlines to make the journey back stateside.

When Bulla landed in San Diego he immediately went to the cargo area to get Congo, that’s when he got the news that Congo was missing.

“They said he wasn’t there and that they didn’t even know where he was,” said Bulla.

Bulla and his wife couldn’t believe it and began fearing the worst for Congo. They felt helpless not knowing where he was or if he was alright.

“It was more stressful, that, you know, he’s like my son. You know, my best friend,” said Bulla.

His wife called repeatedly trying to get answers, but got nowhere. Finally friends suggested they contact local news. 7 On Your Side contacted the airline and within a few hours the airline located Congo. Congo had somehow ended up in Hawaii. United says a paperwork snafu caused the accident and apologized to the couple and refunded the fees.

United sorted out the situation and got Congo back to Bulla and his wife and Congo seemed unaware of his ordeal.

“He was happy and he seemed well fed and they played with him with toys and everything,” said Bulla.

Bulla and his wife are thankful for 7 On Your Side, without the news station’s help the couple might still be trying to track down Congo. Bulla is thankful to a few United employees who did go above and beyond to help find Congo as well.

8 thoughts on “Airline Loses Navy Petty Officer’s Dog”

  1. I’ve heard nothing but negative reviews about United Airlines over the past few months. On top of the various major problems people have faced (lost luggage, lost connections, etc.) is the utter lack of customer service. The only way this family got their dog back is when the airline had a TV station call them out for their massive mistake. That. Is. So. Wrong.

  2. Either the dog flies in the seat next to me or I don’t fly….’course I haven’t flown since 1996. Don’t miss it a bit.

  3. Can someone please get to the CEO and COO and VP of Publicity of United and plead with them to fire PET SAFE – it should be called PET UN-SAFE and disbanded! They even have the audacity to charge $1200 for what used to be $250 and worked much better! I fly often to France. American Airlines is my choice. United used to be, but not any more! Tell as many frequent flyer people as you can – that is the only way they will wake up to lost business. Of course if you are a news producer, here is an opportunity for a good story!

  4. I have a friend who’s sister recently flew United from CA to MA and paid additional money for her dog and cat to get extra attention and care during the flight while they flew in the cargo area. By the time the dog got to MA it had pooped, peed, vomited blood and was dehydrated and required emergency care at the Vets for what they believed was heat related. She even saw them take the crate off the plane and saw the crate mishandled and left on the tarmac for a period of time.

  5. United lost my dogs as well when I left Guam. They were suppose to be at Hawaii they ended up in Texas. No one had any clue how they got there. Was beyond upset! 20 hours in a crate. Worst airline in the world. I will never use them again!!!!!

  6. UNITED MERGED WITH CONTINENTAL. Worked with a freight shipping service for a few years. UNITED was fine until the merger. CO is HORRIBLE!!!! I would advise NEVER to ship with either airlines. They can’t handle regular freight shipments much less live, living animals.


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