BRISBANE, Australia — An American basketball player who flew into Brisbane with his French bulldog placed inside his hand luggage has run afoul of Australia's quarantine laws.
Brisbane Bullets recruit Lamar Patterson was briefly detained after landing in Brisbane on Thursday with his dog, Kobe.
The 27-year-old Patterson, who played for the Atlanta Hawks and has had seasons in Turkey, Italy and China, has since been released. But Kobe was kept in quarantine and was expected to be sent home Friday, the Australia's agriculture department said.
Officials said the cabin crew on Patterson's Qantas flight from Los Angeles failed to notice that the dog was on board without an import permit.
The Bullets, who play in the National Basketball League, say it was an innocent mistake, not a deliberate attempt to flout Australia's strict quarantine laws.
Patterson, who averaged 45 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the latest Chinese CBA season, is just the latest visitor in a tangle over a traveling pet.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova has been a critic of Australian laws that don't allow pets in aircraft cabins.
Australia's ex-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was perhaps best known abroad for the tough stance he took on Johnny Depp's pet dogs Pistol and Boo. Joyce threatened to have the Yorkshire terriers euthanized after saying they were smuggled into Australia in 2014 where Depp was filming the fifth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie series.
Depp's then-wife Amber Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying an immigration document to conceal the dogs in a private jet. She avoided jail under a deal that included Heard and Depp appearing in an awkward video warning against others breaking Australia's strict quarantine laws.
Heard later took to Twitter to mock Joyce.