ATLANTA — After a family dog went missing while traveling with their family, Delta Airlines and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are both working to help reunite the pup with her loved ones.
According to a release from Delta, the dog, named Maia, was flying into the United States with her owner.
However, Delta said their passenger was facing denial of entry into the U.S. on Aug. 18 regarding an undisclosed situation involving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The dog was in a pet carrier, placed under the seat in front of the passenger, but CBP has a policy of turning away those flying into the country if a cabin pet is present.
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Maia was placed with a team from Delta Airlines, according to the company, and later escaped her carrier while being transported outside of the terminal buildings at the Atlanta Airport.
As a result, Delta outlined multiple steps it is taking to reunite Maia and her owner, including:
- Active around-the-clock visual searches of the airfield since Aug. 18 as conditions permit.
- This includes night searches aided by night-vision goggles.
- Notices shared across many hundreds of Delta and airport people to be on the lookout for the dog.
- Engaged all animal shelters and veterinary establishments in communities adjacent to the airport to watch for the dog.
- Constant communication with the customer and her family along.
- Complimentary hosting of the customer’s mother to assist with search efforts, including access to secure areas on the airfield.
- Our teams also shared some preliminary factual information around the circumstances of the dog’s escape with the mother.
In a statement to media, a Delta spokesperson said “Delta people are heartbroken over what this customer and her family are going through. Delta remains in contact with her as we continue to keep all eyes and ears open for her dog.”
After learning of the situation, PETA began a campaign to reunite Maia and her family, including owner Paula Rodriguez, who has had Maia for almost seven years according to her family.
The animal rights nonprofit is offering a $5,000 for information that helps recover Maia safely.
The Atlanta airport’s staff are also on the lookout, responding to PETA’s campaign by providing an update about their search, but Maia is still missing, currently.
In the meantime, Maia’s family has started a GoFundMe related to the missing pooch, and is offering $1,000 for the dog’s return.
Collectively, that means there could be $6,000 for someone able to reunite Maia with her family.
The family said their priority is recovering Maia, and the GoFundMe is intended to pay for resources to do so.
Paula Rodriguez released a small statement with the GoFundMe, reading “Maia is my whole heart and I KNOW she is out there somewhere looking for her mom. I need your contribution to help in our search efforts to bring me closer to reuniting with my baby. Your support means the world to me as I navigate this emotional journey. Thank you!”
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