A woman who was separated from her dog at the Atlanta airport in August has finally been reunited with her beloved pet after three weeks of searching. The dog, named Maia, was found hiding near the North Cargo facilities on Saturday, according to airport officials.
How Maia went missing?
Maia, a chihuahua mix, was traveling with her owner, Paula Rodriguez, from the Dominican Republic to San Francisco on August 18. However, Rodriguez was stopped by border agents over missing visa credentials and had to return to her home country. She left Maia in a crate at the Delta Air Lines counter, hoping to retrieve her later. But when she called the airline, she was told that Maia had escaped from her crate and was nowhere to be found.
Rodriguez was devastated by the news and felt that the airline did not do enough to help her find her dog. She said that Delta offered her $1,800 as compensation, which she rejected as an insult. She also hired a lawyer to pursue legal action against the airline.
How Maia was found?
Meanwhile, a local animal activist named Robin Cole Allgood heard about Maia’s story and decided to help. She posted signs around the airport and contacted airport officials to ask for their cooperation. She also created a Facebook page to update people on the search efforts.
On Saturday, Allgood received a call from a FedEx cargo employee who said that he had seen Maia near the North Cargo facilities. Allgood rushed to the airport and met with airport staff who escorted her to the area where Maia was hiding. They tried to lure Maia out with food and water, but she was too scared and refused to come out.
Allgood then decided to crawl under the cargo racks where Maia was hiding and grabbed her by the waist. She said that Maia was tired but appeared to be in good health. She took her to a veterinarian for a check-up and then contacted Rodriguez to share the good news.
How Maia will reunite with her owner?
Rodriguez was overjoyed when she heard that Maia was safe and sound. She thanked Allgood and everyone who helped in finding her dog. She said that she plans to fly back to Atlanta as soon as possible to reunite with Maia.
Allgood said that she was happy to see Maia and Rodriguez back together. She said that she felt a connection with Maia and that she would miss her. She also said that she hopes that Delta will take responsibility for what happened and improve their handling of pets.
Delta Air Lines said that they were glad that Maia was found and that they apologized for the inconvenience caused to Rodriguez. They said that they are working with Rodriguez and her lawyer to resolve the matter.