Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shared a photo of Maya, the dog who disappeared there 3 weeks ago and was found safe on Saturday.
After enduring nearly a month of heartache and anxiety, a dog owner can finally rest easy after her missing dog was found safe at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Saturday, according to airport officials.
Delta Air Lines passenger Maya’s 6-year-old dog went missing in August at the airport. It is considered the most crowded in the world.
The airport operations team found Maya hiding near the northern cargo facilities, according to a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. He added: “She was tired but appeared to be in good health. She was taken to a vet and is expected to return home soon.” Airport officials said.
On August 18, Rodriguez and Maya jetted off from their home in the Dominican Republic to California for a two-week vacation.
However, when they arrived in Atlanta for a stop, Border Patrol agents informed Rodriguez that her tourist visa did not meet the necessary requirements. They canceled her visa and told her she would need to return to her home country on the next flight, Rodriguez previously told CNN.
With the next flight scheduled for Punta Cana the next day, Rodriguez faced the painful reality of spending the night alone in a detention center, separated from her favorite canine companion.
“They called the Delta agent who took Maya from me,” Rodriguez told CNN.
The next day, Rodriguez arrived at her flight gate early, anxiously awaiting her reunion with Maya. To her dismay, Maya never arrived.
Unable to stay in the United States for more than 24 hours without a visa, Rodriguez had no choice but to board a plane to Punta Cana Don Maya, an experience she said triggered a panic attack during her return home.
Paola Rodriguez poses with her dog Maya in a photo taken sometime before she went missing.
“Everyone who knows me knows how much she means to me,” Rodriguez said of her beloved pet. “I don’t go anywhere without her. She’s so well-behaved that I take her to restaurants, literally everywhere. She’s my partner in everything.”
Two days after Maya’s disappearance, a Delta representative called Rodriguez to share the unfortunate news. “He said she was taken (to the plane) on the runway, and that the staff opened her dog kennel, and she ran out into the middle of the runway,” Rodriguez told CNN.
Despite Rodriguez’s constant calls to Delta for updates, weeks went by without receiving any new information.
“Delta teams are working to locate and reunite this pet with the customer and we remain in contact with the customer to provide updates,” a Delta spokesperson previously told CNN in a statement. Delta employees are deeply concerned for the customer and the dog, and we are committed to continued search efforts, working closely with the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation and other stakeholders.
With her tourist visa revoked, Rodriguez sent her mother to Atlanta to join search efforts at the vast 4,000-acre Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
Rodriguez shared the traumatic toll Maya’s disappearance has taken, describing her experience as “living a nightmare,” as she previously told CNN.
Her worst fears vanished Saturday when Atlanta airport officials announced Maya’s discovery three weeks after she went missing.
CNN contacted Delta Air Lines regarding the circumstances of Maya’s escape.
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