Prize-winning show dog found at Atlanta airport 3 days after she escaped from her crate

‘She’s nothing but sweet, but as you can imagine’

ATLANTA (WGCL/CNN/Gray News) – A prize-winning show dog is back with her owner after escaping at one of the world’s busiest airports over the weekend.

Gale, a purebred American Staffordshire terrier, was found on Tuesday.

“Success! Gayle has been found and is back (in) her owner’s hands,” Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport tweeted. “Kudos to #ATL’s Ops team for its effort in bringing her back ...”

Gale was getting ready to head back home to the Netherlands on Saturday when she disappeared.

"As you can imagine this is the most horrible thing that can happen," said Gale’s owner Floris Van Essen. "I've never felt this distraught, utterly helpless and hopeless."

Their 22-month-old American Staffordshire terrier is a show dog.

"She's nothing but sweet, but as you can imagine, a strange place, hard sounds, airplanes coming over, so she's bound to be skittish and scared out of her mind," Van Essen said.

Gale was part of a recent show in Kentucky and was flying home with a handler when everything took a turn Saturday night.

A dog broke out of its cage as it was being loaded into the cargo of KL622 on March 23. The dog’s owner has been notified. KLM expresses its sincerest regrets and is actively working with the Atlanta airport to search for the dog.

“Pure happiness.” the airport said in another tweet. “Gayle and her owner reunited.”

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