Woman Claims Delta Airlines Lost Her Dog at Atlanta Airport: 'I Am Truly Desperate'

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 dog mom is actively searching for her beloved four-legged companion who she says has gone missing.

The search began after Paulina Rodriguez was flying from the Dominican Republic on Delta Airlines to California for a two-week vacation with her six-year-old dog Maia on Aug. 18, reported CNN Travel.

Rodriguez's travel plans included a layover at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is recognized by the Airports Council International as the "busiest airport in the world."

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Rodriguez told CNN that upon her arrival at the airport, she was denied entry into the U.S. due to issues with her tourist visa. She claims she was told she would have to return to the Dominican Republic on a flight the next day.

Worried about Maia, who had "puked with distress and had diarrhea," Rodriguez said she was told she would spend the night at a detention center and "not to worry" because Maia would be taken to a facility that was trained to care for animals. However, Rodriguez said that she arrived home with Maia nowhere in sight.

"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.

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"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 remains in communication with Rodriguez.

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“Delta people are heartbroken over what this customer and her family are going through. Delta remains in contact with her as we continue to keep all eyes and ears open for her dog," a Delta spokesperson said in a statement.

Delta said its staff has conducted searches of the airfield, including around-the-clock visual searches since Aug. 18 as conditions allowed, aided by night-vision goggles. They have also reached out to animal shelters and veterinarians near the airport. The airline also offered to host Rodriguez's mother to assist in the search, the airline said.

According to Delta, the incident remains under internal investigation.

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