On August 18th, Paula Rodriguez and her six-year-old Chihuahua mix, Maia, were traveling from the Dominican Republic to California for a two-week vacation when her plane had an unexpected layover in Atlanta. At that point, a problem with Rodriguez’s tourist visa was discovered and she was told she would need to fly back home the next day. She had to spend the night in a detention center and was separated from Maia.
The next day, when Rodriguez was boarding her flight home, she learned that Maia had gone missing. Customs agents wouldn’t let her wait until her beloved pup was found and she was forced to fly back to the Dominican Republic without her fur baby. For two days, Rodriguez heard nothing, then she got a call from a Delta representative. “He said that she was being transported on the runway, and staff had opened her kennel, and she had escaped,” she recalls being told.
Because of her visa issue, Rodriguez couldn’t return to the U.S., but her mom flew to Atlanta to search the vast 4-thousand-acre airport with no luck. Weeks went by and Rodriguez was beginning to give up hope, but this past Saturday she received word that a FedEx employee had spotted Maia, leading to the pup eventually being found. Maia was apparently in good health but was being checked out by a vet before being returned home to her mama.