A dog who went missing at an Atlanta airport on Saturday has been found and reunited with one of her owners.
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport tweeted the good news on Tuesday, three days after the prize-winning show dog from the Netherlands disappeared while being loaded onto a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight.
Gale, an American Staffordshire terrier, was heading home from an event in Kentucky. One of her owners, Floris Van Essen, told ABC News earlier this week that he and his wife “panicked” after learning their dog had apparently vanished.
“We’re really missing a family member,” Van Essen said at the time. “We don’t have any children, the dogs are our children.”
Van Essen told ABC that staff said they found Gale’s crate empty when they went to load it onto the plane. However, KLM said in a statement to HuffPost that the dog broke out of the cage while workers were loading her into cargo.
Rescuers searched “4,600 acres of field” surrounding the airport, a spokesman told ABC. Local news station WSB-TV reported that a wildlife biologist was involved in the effort to track down Gale.
The airport tweeted Tuesday afternoon that she had been spotted “in an airfield thicket” that morning and that staff had set out a baited trap for her.
The plan apparently worked, with the airline tweeting out photos showing the elusive dog back in safe hands not long after.
The incident comes days after a dog was found dead in the cargo hold of a KLM flight following the plane’s arrival in Los Angeles.
This story was updated throughout after Gale reunited with her owners.