St. Louis native flies back to Germany to be reunited with family dog

ST. LOUIS – Joey, a 9-year-old beagle and Australian shepherd mix, was supposed to fly to the United States to meet up with his family last week. But Joey is still in Germany. Now his owner has flown back to Europe to try and figure out how to get his pet here to the US.

Joey’s human, John Macenulty, is originally from St. Louis but had been living in Germany for the past year.

When Macenulty and his wife decided to come back to St. Louis last week after the death of his mother, the dog was booked to fly on a separate flight with Lufthansa.

Joey had to fly a different airline because United had recently suspended it’s pet safe program.

When Macenulty and his family arrived in the states, he turned on his phone to find out that Joey was removed from the Lufthansa flight and was still in Germany.

“They decided that he was too anxious and they were worried he was going to hurt himself,” he said.

Macenulty said the dog had flown before but was given medications to calm his nerves. But this time out, the Xanax didn’t really take the edge off the animal.

Airport officials in Germany said Joey wasn’t allowed to fly because of his behavior and had, in fact, cut his nose gnawing at his crate.

A statement sent to People magazine from Lufthansa reads, “Joey was causing himself great harm and we certainly don’t want a situation where this would continue in-flight.”

“They decided they were not going to send him and could no longer even take care of him so somebody had to come get him,” Macenulty said. “The implied threat to me was that they were going to send him to the pound.”

On Thursday, Macenulty drove to Chicago to get on a flight at O’Hare Airport to be reunited with Joey in Germany.

Macenulty said he’s considering driving to another country to see if they’ll let Joey fly with him. If not, he said he’s at a loss with how to get Joey back to the states to live with his family.