Paulina Rodriguez was on her way to California from the Dominican Republic when she said her dog was lost during a layover in Atlanta
A pet dog that went missing for three weeks in the Atlanta Airport has been reunited with her owner, according to airport officials.
Six-year-old Maia’s owner, Paulina Rodriguez, was flying from the Dominican Republic to California on Delta Air Lines for a two-week vacation when her dog disappeared on Aug. 18, CNN Travel first reported. After three weeks, an official airport report gave a happy update on the investigation.
“Maia, the dog who escaped onto the airfield at the world’s busiest airport, was recovered on September 9,” Atlanta Airport wrote on X (previously known as Twitter). “ATL’s Operations team found her hiding near the North Cargo facilities. Tired but in apparent good health, she was transported to a vet and is expected to return home soon.”
Maia, the dog who escaped onto the airfield at the world’s busiest airport, was recovered on September 9. ATL’s Operations team found her hiding near the North Cargo facilities. Tired but in apparent good health, she was transported to a vet and is expected to return home soon. pic.twitter.com/eNbM6us1BW
— Atlanta Airport (@ATLairport) September 10, 2023
According to Rodriguez's Instagram, she finally reunited with her pup and was on her way home. During the search, she shared updates on social media about the distressing situation.
“SHE IS NOT JUST MY DOG. SHE IS MY BEST FRIEND ON EARTH,” Rodriguez wrote in an Instagram post at the time Maia was lost. “@delta took her away from me even though i kindly asked them she was my emotional support and she was in DISTRESS and she broke her kennel and ran into the airport highway.”
Her layover included the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, recognized by the Airports Council International as the "busiest airport in the world."
Rodriguez told CNN that when she arrived at the airport, she could not enter the U.S. because there were problems with her tourist visa. She said they told her she had to fly back to the Dominican Republic the next day.
Concerned about Maia, who had "puked with distress and had diarrhea," Rodriguez told the outlet that the airport said "not to worry" because Maia would be in a facility that cared for animals However, Rodriguez said that when she arrived, her dog wasn’t there.
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"For 2 straight days I have not received any information whatsoever on her whereabouts, and just today I received info from Delta that she escaped her kennel on the airport ramp and that airport staff was looking for her," she wrote in a Facebook post on Aug. 21.
"Has any shelter near to the Atlanta airport received this dog? Also if anyone has any leads or suggestions on what should I do, I would really appreciate it. I am truly desperate and every minute counts," she added. "To clarify, I am not in Atlanta and I have no way right now to get there, but I have people who will go to the ATL airport in person very soon."
A Delta spokesperson told PEOPLE after the incident that the airline was in communication with Rodriguez.
“Delta people are heartbroken over what this customer and her family are going through,” the spokesperson said. “Delta remains in contact with her as we continue to keep all eyes and ears open for her dog.”
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