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Dog found inside airport three weeks after airline lost her and offered owner $1,800
Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe

Dog found inside airport three weeks after airline lost her and offered owner $1,800

Six-year-old pup Maia was missing for three weeks before airport staff found her

A dog that was lost in one of the biggest airports in the US three weeks ago has finally been found.

Paula Rodriguez described ‘living in a nightmare’ last week after airport staff at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International lost her beloved dog Maia.

She was flying from her home in the Dominican Republic to California for a two-week holiday on 18 August.

Rodriguez did not have a direct flight and had to change at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, one of the US' biggest and busiest airports, before continuing her journey to San Francisco.

Maia was travelling with her owner. Facebook/CNN
Maia was travelling with her owner. Facebook/CNN

But after arriving in Atlanta, Rodriguez was told she 'didn’t meet the requirements' of her tourist visa, subsequently being told she'd have to take the next flight home.

What staff didn't realize was that the next flight was the following day - meaning Rodriguez spent the night in a detention centre without her dog.

Rodriguez was told that Maia was nowhere to be found when it came time to board her flight home the following morning, leaving her in a state of panic after she was forced to fly back to the Dominican Republic without her pooch.

"Everyone who knows me knows what she means to me," Rodriguez told CNN.

"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.”

The dog was missing for over two weeks.

The devastated owner believes her pup escaped from her pink travel crate while she was being questioned by border patrol officers. Rodriguez was offered $1,800 by the airline after losing her dog.

Thankfully, the six-year-old pup was found safe three agonizing weeks later. She was found on Saturday (September 9) hiding near the North Cargo Facilities, the airport confirmed on social media on Sunday.

“Maia, the dog who escaped onto the airfield at the world’s busiest airport, was recovered on September 9,” the post on X reads. “ATL’s Operations team found her hiding near the North Cargo facilities.

Maia was found alive.

“Tired but in apparent good health, she was transported to a vet and is expected to return home soon.”

Daniela Rodriguez, Paula’s sister, had set up a GoFundMe to aid in the search for Maia that read: “Now, we are forced to take matters into our own hands. This horrific situation has left my sister sleepless, with constant panic attacks and no appetite. I do not want her to get worse. That is why we have resorted to the thousands of people who have [shown] us their support since the story came out in the news. Maia and Paula need hope, we all do. Hope that they will be together again.”

Rodriguez reacted to the wonderful news on her Instagram Story on Sunday, writing: “"Maiaaaaaaa is coming homeeee!!!!"

Now that's what you call a happy ending!

Topics: Animals, Dogs, Travel, US News