The missing dog of a Delta passenger was found at the Atlanta airport more than three weeks after the traveler accused the airline of losing her beloved pet.
The Chihuahua mix named Maia was found hiding near the airport’s North Cargo facility on Saturday, the airport reported.
The dog apparently escaped onto the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport airfield, airport authorities wrote on the social media site X.
Maia was “tired but in apparent good health” and was sent to a veterinarian for a checkup, the airport explained, adding that “the dog is expected to return home soon.”
The dog had been missing since mid-August, when her owner, Paula Rodríguez, was forced to return to the Dominican Republic after border control officials denied her entry into the United States.
After authorities revoked his visa, Rodríguez had to spend the night in an airport detention center, where his dog was not admitted.
“They called a Delta agent, who took Maia from me,” he told CNN. The next day, when Rodríguez was waiting at the flight boarding gate, the dog was nowhere to be found.
Rodriguez said she was crying when she told border officials that she would not board without her dog, but they informed her that officials could not keep her at the airport for “more than 24 hours.”
He traveled home without knowing Maia’s whereabouts.
Delta staff later reported that the dog had “escaped from her kennel” and had last been seen on August 18.
Delta Air Lines, in a previous statement, said they remained dedicated to finding the dog. “Delta teams have been working to locate and reunite this pet with the customer and we remain in contact with her to provide updated information,” a Delta representative added.
Rodriguez shared the news of his pet’s return Sunday night with an Instagram Story where he captioned the photo: “MAIAAAAAAA IS COMING HOME!!!”
“A lot of salt water for us,” she wrote.
Robin Allgood, an Atlanta resident who works to find lost dogs, had posted Maia fliers around the airport. She said the dog was found under a rack used to move large cargo containers at the airport.
According to Allgood, a FedEx employee recognized the dog on the posters and informed him of the discovery.
She told CBS News that after a biologist failed to catch Maia in a net, she got to work. “I started sliding backwards under the bookshelf and no one noticed I was there, so I grabbed it and someone said, ‘Oh my God, she caught it,’” Allgood added.
After the back-and-forth between Allgood and Delta, the airline said it would “take care” of the owner’s reunion with her dog.
Translation of Michelle Padilla