Atlanta Airport’s Missing Dog Story Gets a Happy End After 3 Weeks

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Transporting your pet through commercial airlines is seen as a safe and fast mode of pet transport. Sometimes, however, things can take a strange turn. Paula Rodriguez traveled with Delta Airlines with her dog supposedly in the cargo of the plane, only to discover that her cherished 6-year-old dog, Maia, was actually lost. And since Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is considered one of the busiest in the world, finding the lost pooch was definitely a major challenge. 

But what happened? Paula began her vacation in a seemingly ordinary manner. On August 18th, she embarked on a journey from her home in the Dominican Republic, headed to sunny California. By her side was her best friend, Maia. Soon after, however, troubles began. Landing in Atlanta for a planned layover, Paula sadly discovered that her tourist visa did not meet the necessary requirements. Because of this, the visa was canceled, and Paula learned she would have to fly back home to the Dominican Republic. The vacation ended before it began!

However, Paula was to spend 24 hours in the detention center, which meant that she was to be separated from her cherished pet, Maia. But when the morning arrived and it was time to fly back home, Paula Rodriguez was torn apart, learning that her pet Maia had been lost! An official representative of the Atlanta airport  informed her that “Maia was being transported (to the plane) on the runway, and staff had opened her kennel, and she had escaped into the middle of the runway”. They were unable to locate her ever since!

Not being allowed to remain in the United States, Paula had no other choice but to board the flight as instructed, leaving her lost pet behind. She only hoped that someone would find her, but even so, the shock and sadness were immense. It was a tragic experience, she said, one that left her with great anxiety and panic attacks during the flight back home. Maia remained lost for weeks – Paula relentlessly called Delta Airlines in hopes of an update but did not receive any new information during this time. Being a small dog, Maia was lost in the vast Atlanta airport and could be virtually anywhere.

Luckily, Paula received the phone call she yearned for since the tragic series of events. Atlanta Airport officials announced that Maia had been discovered, 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,” airport officials said. Maia hid for three long weeks, but even so, she remained relatively safe and healthy. We can only imagine the fear and the stress this poor dog experienced – and the incredible worry her owner went through. Luckily, this story found its happy ending and Maia is probably being showered with love so she’ll forget all about her unplanned “adventure” in no time!

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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