Dog's UK reunion after being lost in Australia

Jason Whatnall and Milo
Jason Whatnall says he "burst into tears" after being reunited with Milo [Family photo]

A dog has been reunited with his owners in Wales after a "month-long nightmare" that saw him stranded and lost in Australia.

Milo, a Jack Russell cross, escaped from an airport handler as his owners boarded a flight to the UK on their way home to Swansea.

Jason Whatnall said it had been "extremely concerning and upsetting" to find out from the pet handler company that his dog was lost.

Aeropets, based in Melbourne, Australia, has been asked to comment.

"It feels amazing to have him back," said Mr Whatnall after collecting Milo at Heathrow Airport in London on Friday.

"We can get on with our life... with our little man by our side."

He said Milo "bolted" from a pet handler at Melbourne Airport and spent the next 17 days on the loose in the city.

An online campaign to find Milo was started and he was spotted numerous times.

But he was also "extremely fast", said Lenny Thomas from Petraveller, another pet handler company in Melbourne that helped to find him.

Milo was eventually lured into a trap set by an animal rescue charity.

"We stepped in then to take care of Milo and to ensure the safe relocation from Australia to the UK."

Jason Whatnall, Nick Rowlands and Milo
Jason Whatnall says he and his partner Nick Rowlands can get on with building their life in Wales now they have their "little man" Milo [Family photo]

"He jumped right up into my arms," Mr Whatnall said of the moment they were reunited.

"He was squeaking and making all kinds of noises," he said. "I think he'd been looking for us for a long time."

He thanked Petraveller for "restoring his faith in pet travel".

But he criticised Aeropets, the company that lost Milo.

"It’s expected that when you’re paying a lot of money to a travel company that they take the utmost of care with your pet," he said.

"To find out that he was lost, and they really didn't know where, was extremely concerning and upsetting."

As for travelling with Milo again, he said: "Never... he's like my baby."