Navy family wants their dog back

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

All Hospital Corpsman First Class John Gromer wants is his dog back. When he and his family were relocated to Japan by the Navy back in November their one-year-old dog Gunner got left behind at the airport when the airline told the Gromer family that Gunner’s kennel was two inches too big to load onto the plane.

On November 29th the Gromer family was making the trip to Japan and was planning to bring their dog Gromer with them. That’s when they were told by American Airline that Gunner’s kennel was two inches too big to be put on the plane. John Gromer’s children started crying at the thought of having to leave Gunner behind. To make matters worse Gromer says the ticket agent was rude to the family yelling at them, “Sir, your dog can’t go. Now get him off my scale.”

Gromer had brought the large kennel because he was trying to comply with guidelines stated on the airline’s website that the dog have enough room in the crate to be comfortable. Gromer had given American Airlines the size and the weight of the kennel prior to the flight when he made the reservation and the airline made no objection at that point.  Repeated requests for a statement or answer from the airline by both the press and Gromer have gone unanswered.

Gunner has been staying with a family friend in San Diego. It was originally going to cost the family $175 to have Gunner flown over with them. Gromer has now been told that it will cost nearly $4,000 to fly Gunner to Japan on a cargo plane.

Gromer is frustrated that he was treated so disrespectfully by the airline but most importantly he wants to be reunited with his dog. “I had to walk away in the airport, leaving my dog basically stranded and alone in the airport so I could make my flight,” said Gromer. “All I want is my dog back.”

18 thoughts on “Navy family wants their dog back”

  1. American Airlines sucks. I never fly them anymore. Maybe this was a gift in disguise. It can be dangerous for pets in with the luggage. I shipped my dog air cargo on Air France. They took such good care of her. Not expensive, surprisingly.

    Reply
  2. send their dog to Japan our serviceman and family were sent by our government the dog is part of their family should now be sent to them free of chg by that airline!

    Reply
    • I’m not saying I disagree with you, but that’s not how the military works. No animal is transported with specific funds from the military, whether it be across the country, to the next state over, or overseas. The military is already paying to transport all of the household goods, the family’s airfare most likely (as in this case), and the family is probably getting a daily amount (per diem) for travel expenses if the Navy works the same way that the Army does. I wish the military payed for pet travel expenses, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case. It sounds as if the family followed all of the necessary steps to have Gunner shipped overseas (it can be a tedious process with health checks, flight restrictions, etc.) and the airlines are the ones to blame in this case. They should transport this animal free of charge.

      Reply
      • And with dignified love and respect and extra special care too. An animal can be traumatized just as much as a child.

        Reply
      • Actually, Kae you are incorrect with regard to the DoD paying for pets during a move. The military will ship two pets per family on a PCS move. That law changed several years ago, I know this from my own experiences moving. There are limits on size of the animal (by weight on aircraft) that the military will pay for. Any pound over that limit would be paid for by the military member.
        I do, however, agree that the airlines should help out and at least offer a discount or something for the pets.

        Reply
  3. What a bunch of crap. American Airlines should be made to fly this dog free of charge and issue an apology to this family. What happened to the dog?? Story was not clear on that. Everyone should send a letter to American Airlines to let them know they need to correct this and take action against an employee who would treat Military personel that way.
    Unbelievable !!!

    Reply
  4. American Airlines as well as others Can Make exceptions. This case is only one of many. In this case apperantly There were specific questions by the owner about size and weight.

    Note:
    “Gromer had brought the large kennel because he was trying to comply with guidelines stated on the airline’s website that the dog have enough room in the crate to be comfortable. Gromer had given American Airlines the size and the weight of the kennel prior to the flight when he made the reservation and the airline made no objection at that point.

    If there was an issue, Gromer should have been told up front. This is no way to treatanyone, especially Military Personnel, that are not paid enough to begin with.

    Rudeness is a typical trait of American Airlines agents, I have had a number of run-ins. And won all the battles…

    Thank you,
    Greg Matt

    Reply

Leave a Comment