(NewsNation) — A dog that was lost at the Atlanta airport has been found after three weeks and airport officials are preparing to reunite the dog with her owner.
“Maia, the dog who escaped onto the airfield at the world’s busiest airport, was recovered on September 9. ATL’s Operations team found her hiding near the North Cargo facilities. Tired but in apparent good health, she was transported to a vet and is expected to return home soon,” the airport said on Twitter.
Maia, a six-year-old Chihuahua mix, was traveling with her owner Paula Camila Rodriguez, who is from the Dominican Republic.
When Rodriguez’s flight arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, she was refused entry due to problems with her visa. Maia was supposed to be boarded overnight in the Delta pet facility before the pair flew back to the Dominican Republic.
Delta said Maia broke out of her carrier on an active runway and escaped.
Forced to board a flight home without her dog, Rodriguez told CNN she suffered a panic attack during the trip to Punta Cana.
“Everyone who knows me knows what she means to me,” Rodriguez said. “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.”
Over the past three weeks, airport employees and local officials searched for Maia, even using night-vision goggles to try to find her.
Lost pet recovery specialist Robin Allgood found Maia after a tip from a FedEx worker who had seen the dog. Delta said Maia will be on her way to be united with Rodriguez soon.
“We are thankful for the teamwork that has led to our customer’s dog’s recovery. Delta teams engaged our colleagues throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson airport community when searches first began and as we followed every lead presented since then. Delta is working to reunite the dog with our customer as soon as possible.”
It wasn’t immediately known what Maia was eating and drinking after she went missing Aug. 18, but the spokesperson said a veterinarian found her healthy and able to travel. Delta said it would facilitate Rodriguez’ wishes when it comes to how she wants to be reunited with Maia.