Beloved dog goes missing near Melbourne Airport while in care of transport company AeroPets

A Victorian man is on a mission to find his missing dog, after the pooch escaped while in the care of an animal transport company near Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.

The five-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Milo was headed to the United Kingdom on March 18 with his owner, Jason Whatnall, but escaped while in the care of AeroPets Animal Transport, when he was being removed from a cage.

AeroPets said Milo bit the dog handler who was moving him between locations.

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The company said it wasn’t aware Milo was scared of people or vehicles.

“We advised the owners of what happened immediately, who came in and helped with the search for a few hours. The owners of Milo then took a flight out of Australia,” the company told News Corp.

AeroPets has hired animal rescuers and flown in staff from Brisbane to help find Milo. They are looking in the Tullamarine area.

“We have handed out hundreds of flyers in the area to neighbourhoods and businesses to assist and put food and cameras out at night to help, and have engaged social media groups,” it said.

Milo. Credit: Supplied

Because the dog’s owner is not in the country, the rescuer, Nigel Williamson, said he has been playing a recording of Whatnall over a speaker.

On Tuesday evening, the dog was captured on motion sensing cameras for the first time in a paddock near the airport, but in a different location to where the group had been searching.

The rescuers have since set up a trap and will lure the Jack Russell in with treats and his owner’s old clothes.

Whatnall said he has been anxiously waiting for good news.

“I’m feeling helpless, I’m over here in the UK because I couldn’t change my flights,” Whatnall said.

The rescuers have since set up a trap and will lure the Jack Russell in with treats and his owner’s old clothes.  Credit: Supplied

He said he has been very satisfied with the way the transport company has responded.

“Our pets are like our babies, and we really expect that they’re going to be looked after and safely transported when we’re passing on our pets into care,” Whatnall said.

Whatnall’s mother, Jenny Kling, owns Milo’s mother and drove from Bendigo to Melbourne, hoping her dog could find Milo based on his scent.

“I’ve just had people just randomly pull me up on the street now and say, ‘are you looking for Milo?’ It’s just wonderful community help,” Kling said.

Whatnall also thanked people who have participated in the search.

“That’s been amazing, and it’s kept me hopeful that he’s going to be all right ,” he said.


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