A dog that went missing at the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta has finally resurfaced – three weeks later! According to CNN, Maia, a 6-year-old dog, will soon be safe and sound at home with dog mom Paula Rodriguez.
Travel visa mishap leaves dog in the lurch
Maia’s ordeal began on August 18, when she and Rodriguez left their home country of the Dominican Republic for a two-week vacation in California. Upon their Delta airline flight’s arrival in Atlanta for a layover, however, border patrol told Rodriguez that her tourist visa was invalid. They canceled the visa and informed her that she would have to return to Punta Cana. The next flight wasn’t until the following day.
Rodriguez had to spend the night at a detention center – without Maia.
“They called a Delta agent, who took Maia from me,” Rodriguez told CNN.
Rodriguez assumed she would see her dog at the time of the flight home, but when she arrived at the gate, Maia was not there. Unable to remain in the U.S. for more than 24 hours due to the canceled visa, the dog mom had no choice but to board the plane. She had a panic attack on the flight due to the experience of losing her fur baby.
Dog goes missing in world’s busiest airport
Two days later, a Delta representative reached out to Rodriguez. He said Maia was in a kennel en route to a plane when staff opened the door and Maia escaped onto the runway. No one knew where she was.
According to CNN, Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in the world. Rodriguez told the news outlet that losing Maia was like “living a nightmare.”
Though Rodriguez called Delta constantly, the airline did not provide any further updates on Maia’s whereabouts. However, a Delta representative did release the following statement to CNN: “Delta teams have been working to locate and reunite this pet with the customer and we remain in touch with the customer to provide updates. Delta people feel deeply concerned for the customer and the dog and we’re committed to ongoing search efforts, working closely with the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation and other stakeholders.”
Three long weeks passed. Finally, on Saturday, the operations team at the airport discovered Maia. She was hiding by the north cargo facilities.
“Tired but in apparent good health, she was transported to a vet and is expected to return home soon,” airport officials said.