'Success!' Show dog reunites with owner after vanishing at airport

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/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

Good news for dog lovers everywhere: Gale, the prize-winning show dog who went missing at the world's busiest airport over the weekend, has been found!

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport tweeted a photo of the pooch after she'd been recovered Tuesday afternoon.

"Success! Gayle (sic) has been found and is back her owner’s hands. Kudos to #ATL’s Ops team for its effort in bringing her back," the airport tweeted.

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That photo was followed by an even happier one featuring Gale back in the arms of her owner, Floris van Essen.

The 22-month-old American Staffordshire terrier went missing after apparently breaking out of her crate before a flight overseas.

Gale was scheduled to fly to Amsterdam on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and had cleared security in her crate at the airport three hours before the flight, Van Essen told Atlanta's NBC affiliate WXIA.

Gale, a show dog from the Netherlands, has been missing since Saturday after breaking free from her crate at an Atlanta airport. 11Alive

But about 10 minutes before boarding, crews discovered her crate was empty.

The dog's handlers were told to get on the plane while airport employees worked to locate her.

Gale is a purebred American Staffordshire terrier. Courtesy of Floris van Essen

"As you can imagine, this is just a horrible ordeal," Van Essen, who had flown home to the Netherlands before his pup, told WXIA.

The dog's owner called the ordeal "horrible."Courtesy of Floris van Essen

The station reported several pilots spotted Gale from the air during takeoff or landing, but no one had been able to corral the feisty little girl.

Gale was visiting the U.S. for a competition in Kentucky.

The pretty pup has certainly won the hearts of every dog lover we know!