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Winnipeg man wants answers from Air Canada after cat lost in Toronto airport

Riley McCann says Air Canada told him that his cat, Dewy, went missing from a crate during a stopover at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Jan. 16. He is considering taking legal action against the airline. (Riley McCann)

A Winnipeg man is angry and blames Air Canada after his cat was lost at Toronto airport – Pearson International Airport in Toronto during a trip home.

Riley McCann was moving back to Winnipeg with his two cats after living in Montreal for five years. He took a flight on Jan. 16, and travelled with his cat Vida in the cabin and paid $105 for his other cat, Dewy, to travel in the cargo area.

Dewy went missing during a layover in Toronto, he said.

“It’s been so difficult. I’ve been getting no more than four hours of sleep a night this past week,” McCann said.

“It’s now seven days later and there is no sign of Dewy anywhere inside of Pearson Airport.… Nobody knows where he is.”

He was told by Air Canada in Toronto that his three-year-old tabby somehow escaped from a crate in the cargo area while being transferred onto a connecting flight to Winnipeg.

“The employee [who] had been put in charge to walk his crate off the plane had set down the carrier, turned around for a moment, and when he looked back my cat was gone,” he said.

He was told he was not allowed to look for his cat in the airport warehouse at the time due to security issues, he said.

Air Canada officials are still searching for the cat and have put out out some traps, but so far there is still no sign of Dewy, he said.

“I don’t know where my cat is and all I really want is for him to come home, and I worry that’s not going to happen.”

It took more than two days for someone from the airline to contact him after he arrived in Winnipeg, he said.

“It’s been very tough coming home in light of a pandemic and everything going on,” he said.

“I came home to start a new job, I’m trying to sort some personal stuff with my family, and I have this weighing on me every single day.”

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Air Canada has now offered to fly McCann back to Toronto to help look for Dewy, but he’s not sure he can because of COVID-19 restrictions, he said.

“I’m currently on day seven of a 14-day isolation from having to travel,” he said.

“I was shocked. We’re in a global pandemic and suddenly it’s okay for me to hop back on a flight to Toronto?” he said.

“It seems like a blatant disregard for the health of myself and their employees.”

He’s also surprised given that he wasn’t allowed to go into the baggage area in Toronto at the time his cat went missing.

“I begged and begged them to let me go in that room, to call out for him and try to find him myself, but was told [at that time] it was impossible, and now I find out it was very much possible.”

McCann is considering taking legal action to ensure this kind of incident doesn’t happen again.

CBC has requested comment from Air Canada.