Metro Detroit man stranded in Seattle airport comforts others with rescued puppies

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DETROIT – Investigators are working to determine how an airline employee stole a Horizon Air passenger plane before fatally crashing into a small island.

RELATED: Airline employee steals plane from Seattle airport, crashes and dies

The incident happened Friday evening. People inside of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport did not know what was happening at the time. 

"At about 8 o'clock, the fighter jets started to go over, and that's when we knew something was going on," said Steve Heim, who was at the airport to rescue nine Spanish greyhounds.

The greyhounds originally came from Spain, but moved to Seattle, Washington. 

"It's been quite a journey for these dogs," said Karen Michalski, a veterinarian at the Serenity Animal Hospital in Sterling Heights

Michalski started rescuing puppies from Spain in 2011 after hearing about the horrible conditions in which they were living. She spends money out of her own pocket to rescue the dogs.  

She coordinated an effort to get the Spanish greyhounds from Washington to Metro Detroit for care and adoption. Heim was a part of the mission, but encountered the bizarre situation unfolding at the airport. 

"There were people crying. There were people very, very upset. They were hollering and yelling at all the staff. They [the dogs] were scared and the people were too," Heim said. 

Then Heim said people started gathering around the puppies to play with them for comfort. 

"It was a bad situation what happened last night, but it turned around to be such a beautiful atmosphere with these guys and what dogs do for people," Heim said. 

The dogs made their way back to Metro Detroit Saturday, and will be in the care of Serenity Animal Hospital. 

"They're going to go to my hospital. We'll check them all over and make sure everybody's OK, and we're gonna start looking for homes for them," Michalski said. 

There will be a rescue round-up adoption event Aug. 26 from noon to 4 p.m. at the animal hospital where the puppies will be up for adoption. 

You can find out more information about the Serenity Animal Hospital's at its official website here.


About the Authors:

Koco joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016. She was born and raised in Metro Detroit, attended Central Michigan University, and previously worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.