Pet dog lost by Delta after owner was deported from US found three weeks later

Ceri Breeze / / miguismalls / Twitter/ ATL Airport

This news deserves a round of a paws: Maia, the dog lost by Delta Air Lines on August 18, 2023, has been found safe nearly a month later.

Maia was found by the airport’s operations team at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) hiding near the North Cargo facilities.

“Maia, the dog who escaped onto the airfield at the world’s busiest airport, was recovered on September 9,” the airport posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The airport also said that despite looking tired, Maia was in good health. She was sent to a vet for evaluation.

Delta told The Washington Post that it is working to reunite Maia with her owner soon.

“We are thankful for the teamwork that has led to our customer’s dog’s recovery,” an airline spokesperson said via email. “Delta is working to reunite the dog with our customer as soon as possible.”

Maia’s owner is Paula Rodriguez, from the Dominican Republic. On August 18, 2023, Rodriguez and Maia traveled on a Delta Air Lines flight from Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo (SDQ) Dominican Republic, to San Francisco International Airport (SFO), with a stop in ATL airport. 

However, when they arrived in Atlanta, the US Customs and Border Protection at ATL airport did not find Rodriguez’s travel documents sufficient, and she was denied entry into the US. 

After spending a night at the airport, Rodriguez was sent back to the Dominican Republic. Maia, however, could not be found at the airport. 

Friends of Rodriguez and concerned citizens launched an online appeal for the public to help search for Maia. They even started a fundraiser and raised more than $6,000 in a desperate bid to find the six-year old dog. 

Delta Air Lines even offered $1,800 to Rodriguez as ‘compensation’ for losing Maia. 

Maia’s appearance 24 days later is proof that with hope, anything is paw-sible. 

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