You’ve probably heard of so-called “teacup” dogs like Yorkies that are bred to be about the size of your hand. While those breeds are common, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials recently discovered what they called a “backpack” dog.
That’s because someone at Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) in Madison, Wisconsin, recently sent a dog through the airport’s security and X-ray tunnel.
“A dog was accidentally sent through the X-ray at MSN airport this week,” the TSA wrote on Twitter. “When traveling with any animal, notify your airline & know their rules.”
The dog, a dachshund chihuahua mix, was ok, although — understandably — it was anxious.
Indeed, Jessica Mayle, a TSA spokesperson, said the dog was “just a little skittish,” according to USA Today. She went on to add that the pet’s owner was “unaware” of TSA’s screening protocol for animals and neglected to tell TSA agents about the dog.
“After the dog was discovered by the X-ray operator, the officer explained the proper process to the passenger and confirmed she had disclosed she was traveling with the pet to the airline,” Mayle told USA Today. “After her bags were cleared, the traveler proceeded to her gate.”
Not A First For TSA
It’s understandable if you’re thinking there’s a first for everything when it comes to tales — or tails — from the airport. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time TSA agents discovered an animal in someone’s luggage.
In fact, someone recently sent a live cat through airport security at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
“We’re letting the cat out of the bag on a hiss-toric find,” TSA wrote on Twitter. “This CATch had our baggage screening officers @JFKairport saying, ‘Come on meow!’”
That tweet also included a photo of how the cat looked to TSA agents.
Those agents, by the way, were “shocked” to discover the cat, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said, according to CNN.
“It’s rare to discover a live animal in a checked bag,” Farbstein added.
How To Safely Travel With Pets
It isn’t as if TSA hides its guidelines for traveling with pets, and while it may not seem like the advice needs to be stated, “animals should never be put through an X-ray tunnel,” TSA’s travel tips for traveling with pets explains.
“Don’t put me into the X-ray tunnel. Seriously, that’s not fun for me,” TSA explains. “Take me out, place my EMPTY travel carrier on the belt, and leave my X-rays to the vet.”
TSA also reminds owners that “leashes and harnesses are a great way” to make sure your pet doesn’t get lost at the airport. What’s more, “travel carriers are awesome” for pets, TSA notes.
Finally, TSA has even posted a video explaining, “Here’s the proper way to travel with your pet.”
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