Rescuing a Rescue

Puerto Rico pup lost—and found—in Logan Airport during transport
By The Bark, February 2011

Have you heard the story of Pedro, a Beagleish-looking former stray from Puerto Rico who escaped from his crate at Logan Airport in Boston last week during his transport to a shelter in Maine? Frequent Bark contributor Twig Mowatt, co-founder of All Sato Rescue, which helps find homes in the United States for Puerto Rico strays, including Pedro, told us the amazing behind-the-scenes story of his big adventure.

“This dog has really had an ‘exciting’ life. He was hit by a car last year and lost one eye. We took him into our program, which is All Sato Rescue because a special needs dog wouldn’t have much luck finding a home in Puerto Rico. So, he arrived at Logan Airport Monday evening to be met by someone from a Beagle rescue group in Maine who has placed a lot of our dogs—and, thankfully, he’s pretty loose about his definition of ‘Beagle,’ as you can tell Pedro probably has some Jack Russell, and a little sausage-something in his stubby legs and long body. I was not at the airport when it happened, but I heard about it immediately and fortunately, I had the cell phone of the state’s most famous animal rescuer—Alan Borgal, sort of the Rooster Cogburn of the animal world. (If you’ve seen True Grit you’ll know what I mean.)
“Anyway, while we (me in Boston, our president in San Juan, and the head of the Beagle rescue group) were basically in little puddles of worry and anxiety, Alan was putting together a SWAT team. He has his own rescuers through the Animal Rescue League of Boston, where he works, but he also knows many people at Logan. He got in touch with the Logan police and then started reaching out to the construction workers and parking lot attendants at the airport. Pedro had—very scarily—made it out of the terminal, crossing a very busy road of buses and taxis and shuttles, and gotten into the central parking garage. It was freezing cold and he had just left 80-degree weather, so we were all terrified that he was going to freeze to death.
“We had one sighting of him Monday evening—about 9 p.m., and Alan was out there late into the night. We didn’t hear anything again until Tuesday afternoon, when we got a sighting of him in a parking area near Terminal B, where he arrived. I went out there after work Tuesday, and papered the garage with flyers, and also handed them out to everyone I could find—maintenance workers, taxi dispatchers, parking lot attendants—and everyone was so kind and concerned. But it was very scary to see where he might be hiding—as it was freezing cold and full of construction equipment and cars, of course, that might run over him.
“Alan said that he thought Pedro was finding cars of people who had just parked, so he could get under them for some warmth. He also said that he knew Pedro was in the area by the reaction of the resident cat who hangs out and catches rodents in the parking lot. Evidently the cat was quite put out.
“Alan told me that the construction workers were so worried that they checked his humane traps every hour all night! When Pedro was finally caught—not in a trap, by the way, but with a pole, I think—he had made it across two more busy streets into a garage quite far from where he was originally.
“It was just amazing to me how everyone got involved and wanted to help and came together for this little dog. The thought that he had been through so much on the streets of Puerto Rico and was finally getting a chance to find a loving, forever home--only to end up lost in Logan airport--was almost too much to bear. But, just seeing how everyone pulled together and helped make this happy ending, made it a really life-affirming experience. Moreover, judging from the looks of Pedro in the TV report, he is pretty unfazed by it all. Alan said that once he got by the initial shock of being caught, he began giving everyone kisses.
“At the moment, he is being held in quarantine at the Animal Rescue League in Boston. We are ready to send him on up to Maine to find his forever home, but, given his local celebrity status, if a highly qualified adopter shows up who wants to add Pedro to their home, we are all for making that happen. We just think it’s time to change his name from Pedro to Logan!”