Chihuahua in suitcase: Texas couple recalls accidentally bringing dog to airport

A Texas couple is sharing their story of when they unknowingly brought their five-pound Chihuahua to the airport, in their suitcase.

"So yeah, we just accidentally took a dog with us," said Jared Owens.

Jared and Kristi Owens of Lubbock were headed to Las Vegas last fall, and the plan was to leave their Chihuahua "Icky" at home with Kristi’s mom.

"Just for a little quick weekend getaway trip to get away from our crazy house. All our animals, crazy kids," said Kristi.

They admit they were in a rush, with Jared packing his suitcase at the last minute.

"I packed up and kind of checked on a couple of things. I put my boots in last, zipped it up," said Jared.

Little did they know, there was a little stowaway in that boot. When they got to the airport, their luggage was two pounds over the weight limit, so they decided to move some things around. When they opened up the suitcase, there Icky was!

"She was completely cozy, wrapped up in all the clothes," said Kristi.

The Owenses were in shock, and felt horribly guilty about what happened, but Icky was fine.

"That dog never made a noise, never a sound," said Jared. "Maybe she's like that old lady with a slot problem and trying to come to Vegas. I don't know."

"I’m not surprised that a pet is able to sneak into a bag every once in a while," said Paty Mancha, spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Administration in Texas.

RELATED STORY: Live cat found inside checked bag at JFK Airport

Mancha says this is a teachable moment.

"It really is incumbent upon travelers to know exactly what's in their bag," said Mancha.

And I had to ask, what about Austin-Bergstrom International Airport?

"No, nothing like that has happened. We never heard of a cat being in a checked bag or anything," said AUS spokesperson Bailey Grimmett.

As for Icky, thankfully Jared’s uncle, who lives near the Lubbock airport, was able to come pick her up.

"We got to Vegas. We had a really good trip. We actually called her our good luck charm. We usually leave quite a bit of money there, but we actually won some pretty good money that weekend," said Jared Owens.  

"You know, she got her little 10 minutes of fame, and now she's, you know, she's up there," said Jared.

"She’s infamous," said Kristi.

Jared and Kristi say the staff from Southwest was super helpful, even sent them a pet carrier for Icky.