Paula Rodriguez faced the dread of every pet owner when her dog, Maia, went missing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, recently crowned the world’s busiest, during her transit on Delta Air Lines.
On August 18, Rodriguez, with Maia on board, traveled from the Dominican Republic to California, with a scheduled stopover in Atlanta. Upon landing, officials declared Rodriguez’s tourist visa noncompliant, forcing an overnight detention in Atlanta without his beloved pet.
Despite Rodriguez’s concerns about Maia’s obvious distress during the flight, a Delta agent assured him of Maia’s overnight care. However, the meeting Rodriguez was hoping for before his rescheduled flight never happened.
Frantically searching for Maia upon landing in Punta Cana, Rodriguez, restricted by a canceled U.S. visa, relied on her mother, who had flown to Atlanta, to lead the search. The sprawling 4,000-acre airport presented daunting search dimensions. Believing Maia could still be at the airport because of her microchip, Rodriguez hopes a shelter or vet will recognize her if she is found.
A past incident in 2019 saw a dog escape at the same airport, which was eventually located after four days.
Delta’s statement emphasized its active involvement in locating Maia, while the airport’s spokesperson affirmed its commitment to the search. The details of how Maia was initially lost remained unanswered.
Rodriguez’s anguish persists: “Knowing that my baby is out there scared … Every minute feels like a day.”
This article is sourced from and written by AI.
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