Neglected senior dog ditched at airport by owner gets a second chance

It’s unbelievable that anyone could just abandon their pet, but sadly that’s the fate of many animals who get left behind by careless owners.

Recently, one senior dog was shockingly left behind by his owner as she boarded a plane — but now the poor dog is in better hands.

The story happened last month at Florida’s Tampa International Airport. A woman was trying to board a plane with her dog, a 14-year-old Shih Tzu mix named Bama.

However, she did not have the dog’s vaccination papers and the travel fee. The woman left, saying she’d make arrangements to get everything required to bring the dog on board.

What she did next shocked everyone: “She came back but before she came back, she kind of dropped the leash and walked off,” Tampa Airport Police Chief Charlie Vazquez recalled to FOX 35 Orlando. “Left the dog on his own in the airport.”

The airport employees say it’s the first time they’ve ever seen something like this. Not only was it shocking to see a person ditch their dog so carelessly just to board a plan, but the airport was a dangerous place to leave a small dog alone.

“We love animals and to treat an animal like that is really shocking,” Vazquez told ABC Action News.

Airport police contacted VIP Rescue, who came to take in the ditched senior dog. They were equally shocked by the dog’s poor treatment: “”It’s disgusting,” Corrin Smith of the rescue told FOX 35. “It’s absolutely disgusting and unacceptable.”

It also soon became clear that the old dog’s neglect began long before they entered the airport: Corrin says Bama was in “really bad shape,” with matted fur, infected ears and teeth, and a tumor on his back.

But his new carer is committed to giving Bama the long-overdue help he needs, and provide the senior dog with a loving home: “We’ll take care of all of that, and I think he’ll probably live with me for the rest of his life,” Corrin said.

Meanwhile, Bama’s former owner — whose actions were caught on a surveillance video — could face prosecution for abandoning the dog. Chief Vazquez told ABC that the state attorney’s office is planning to press charges.

“The woman needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, there’s no excuse for this,” Corrin told ABC.