Lamar Patterson Unwittingly Smuggles His Dog Into Australia
American basketball player Lamar Patterson’s French Bulldog was seized by Australian authorities after Patterson flew with the dog in his carry-on, only to find out he’d broken Australian law.
When American basketball player Lamar Patterson flew to Australia to join his new Australian team, the Brisbane Bullets, he had no idea that he was breaking the law by bringing his French bulldog with him in his carry-on luggage.
Now, before you get all, “Do people even pay attention to anything anymore?” (or is it just me?), Patterson says that he asked officials at Los Angeles’s LAX airport if he could take his dog with him on the international flight and was told he could. In fact, his boarding pass specifically said he was traveling with a dog.
Patterson saw no issue with the dog, Kobe, flying with papa across the ocean, and no one else seemed to have an issue either. That is, until he arrived in Australia with the pooch in his carry-on!
The Bullets’ coach, Andrej Lemanis, said that there was confusion at LAX, and must have assumed that Patterson was flying domestically instead of internationally. Lemanis said no one said a word to him, and Patterson and Kobe went through security without a hitch.
Lemanis also said that the mistake was also part of the team’s fault, in not fully communicating international quarantine laws with teammates they recruit. He said that in the future, when choosing international players, it will be essential to inform them about Australia’s strict quarantine laws with dogs. To bring a pet into Australia, one must apply for a permit and when the dog arrives, there is to be a quarantine of at least ten days to make sure there’s no illness being brought to the land of Oz.
In May of 2015, actor Johnny Depp and his then-wife Amber Heard smuggled their dogs Pistol and Boo into the country on their private jet, and the dogs were sentenced to euthanasia! The couple fought the sentence, and luckily just hours before they were to be put down, the dogs were released and allowed to go back to the United States.
It’s clear that Australia doesn’t play games when it comes to dogs entering the country, even if they’re basketball games with star players. Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has said that dogs arriving in Australia illegally should be put down.
Kobe was taken into quarantine and is expected to fly back to the United States today.