Rewards offered for dog lost by Delta at Hartsfield-Jackson

A Delta passenger’s dog who escaped onto the airfield at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport last month still hasn’t been found, weeks after escaping from its carrier. Now she and an animal rights group are offering rewards for the safe return of the pet.

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

Delta staff had custody of Maia when she escaped her carrier into an outdoor area of the airport. Rodriguez had to fly home without knowing where Maia was, and was later told that the dog had last been seen by Delta staff Aug. 18. Delta and others reached out to area animal shelters and vets to watch for the dog, who is microchipped.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it is offering a reward of up to $5,000 — in addition to a $1,000 reward offered by Rodriguez — for the return of Maia, a chihuahua mix.

Rodriguez’s sister, who posted that Delta said it will not be actively searching for the dog anymore, started a GoFundMe to pay for “professional pet detectives, Legal consultation (fees are included), search dogs services, animal communicator services, reward flyers, surveillance services…etc.”

Amid reports that Delta offered $1,800 to Rodriguez for the loss of the dog, Delta issued a statement this week saying it is “committed to finding resolution and that’s why attorneys for Delta and the customer continue to be engaged.”

“No offer of compensation has been made or agreed to at this early stage,” Delta said.

The airline also said its employees “remain heartbroken for this customer’s experience.”