ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) – A valued show dog is back with his beloved owner Tuesday after a wild adventure at the Atlantis Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Gale, an American Staffordshire Terrier, passed away on Saturday after being checked in for a plane near the international terminal. Officials said Gale got out of the box and went to the airport.
The airport called two of its experts on the staff. Steven Boyd and Jeff Miller are airport wildlife biologists. They are usually concerned with keeping the wildlife outside the runway and property, but they quickly switched gears to help the domestic puppy.
An intense search on the property of 4,700 hectares started almost immediately, but their first major break came Sunday when Gale was discovered in a part of the airport known as quarry. Boyd and Miller spent all day Monday searching well into the evening, even during a hail storm, tracking the missing dog.
"We had some pretty serious searches all over the airport, but we knew she was moving into quarries," Miller said.
Monday morning, Gale was once discovered in the same area of the airport.
"We focused most of our search there because we knew she didn't come out," Miller said.
"We were under the impression that she was there for cover and water," Boyd said, adding that the area is also below the airline, making it a bit quieter than the rest of the property.
"There is a storm water runoff pool, so with the rain last night, it could have been a low water level that could have been dangerous for her," Miller said.
But fortunately, Gale held to the perimeter and took some tires in some the bushes during the day the heavy rain and the hail Monday night [TuesdayTuesdaymorningtheytraisedanothertacticTheybroughtGaleownertothequarrytotrytolureheroutHewentdownintotherockyareaandbeganCallhernameIttookabout20minutesorsofortheshowdogtobepulledfromherhideoutbutwhenshediditwaspurejoy
"Just see that dog and the band with the owner. And that dog jumped four-feet tall and was super excited and relieved that she didn't have to spend another night out in the wild, Boyd said.
Boyd and Miller are a jack-of-all-trades at the airport in their efforts to keep wildlife and airlines safe. They attach fences, trap animals, and even use pyrotechnics to spread animals, but this week they can add dog tracking to the list.