After living in Tenerife for seven years Birmingham couple Gayle and Mick Curtis headed back home. Due to rigorous quarantine procedure their two beloved dogs, 8 year old Ebony, a Staffordshire bull terrier, and 13 year old Libby, a White West Island terrier had to be left behind for a while, and they knew they would have to wait a few months before they could see them again.

After the wait was over the couple looked forward to welcoming their faithful hounds back at their Marston Green home. When they arrived at Manchester airport to collect the dogs they were left devastated when officials told them they had lost their pets on the flight from Tenerife to Manchester.
Instead of being unloaded, bungling baggage handlers forgot to take them off the aircraft and the poor dogs were left on board for an hour before being sent all the way back to Tenerife – a round trip of nearly 4,000 miles and nine hours.

Beside themselves with worry they were told the dogs would be walked, given water and food when they landed back in Tenerife.

Ebony and Libby finally arrived back in Birmingham at 9.30am on Saturday morning, nearly 24 hours after they left Tenerife. They had been on the aeroplane for around 12 hours.

A spokeswoman for Thomas Cook said: “The welfare of the animals transported on Thomas Cook Airlines is always a priority. We would like to apologise to Mr Curtis for any upset and inconvenience caused.”

A spokesman for baggage handlers, Menzies Aviation, said: “As soon as the error was realised staff took immediate action to ensure the animals were met by a vet in Tenerife and were examined before being allowed to travel back to the UK. Menzies Aviation is undertaking an investigation into this incident and will take disciplinary action where appropriate.”