Delta passenger’s lost dog found at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA — A Delta passenger’s dog who escaped onto the airfield at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport more than three weeks ago was found on Saturday, airport officials said.

The dog, a chihuahua mix whose name is Maia, was found hiding near the airport’s North Cargo facilities, according to the airport.

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

Maia had been missing since mid-August, when her owner Paula Rodriguez flew to Atlanta from her home in the Dominican Republic on a tourist visa and was denied entry into the United States. Rodriguez had to stay overnight in an airport detention center, where her dog Maia was not allowed.

While being handled by Delta staff in an outdoor area of the airport, Maia — who is microchipped — escaped her carrier. Rodriguez flew home without knowing where Maia was, and was later told that the dog had last been seen by Delta staff Aug. 18.

The lost dog had prompted talks between attorneys for Delta and the dog’s owner Paula Rodriguez.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had offered a reward of up to $5,000, in addition to a $1,000 reward offered by Rodriguez, for the return of the Maia. It’s unclear if airport operations staff would qualify for the reward.