A dog who escaped its kennel on a Delta Airlines flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was found on Saturday, US media reported.
The airport announced that the dog, Maia, was recovered by an operations team in a social media post. She was found hiding in the airport's North Cargo facilities, the airport reported. She has been brought to a veterinarian for treatment.
Maia's owner revealed that the dog had gotten loose during a layover in Atlanta. Many Israelis have taken advantage of Delta's newest TLV to ATL route, allowing for more connections between Israel and North America via the largest airport in the world.
Maia's owner, passenger Paula Rodriguez, posted in a Facebook group called "Atlanta Area Lost and Found Pets" with a plea for help after she said she lost her dog on August 18th, US media reported.
"For 2 straight days I have not received any information whatsoever on her whereabouts, and just today I received info from Delta that she escaped her kennel on the airport ramp and that airport staff was looking for her," Rodriguez wrote in a social media post on August 21, sharing a photo of her beloved four-legged friend.
Local pet rescuers came to help with the search
US media reported that a local Atlanta woman, Robin Allgood, came to help with efforts to find the lost dog, as she works to find lost pets. She returned to the airport to search after receiving a call that someone spotted the pet.
The dog was found under a rack that the airport used to move large cargo containers. According to Allgood, a wildlife biologist couldn't get Maia with a net, so she rolled under and secured the animal.
Delta told US media outlet CBS News that they are investigating the circumstances of how the dog was able to go missing.
Rodriguez, the dog's owner, was flying to San Francisco from the Dominican Republic, but her tourist visa was denied and left her in detention overnight before heading back to the Dominican Republic.
Maia was not allowed to stay in the detention facility, as per US Customs and Border Patrol policy for detention facilities.
US media reported that an airline agent took the pet and assured Rodriguez that her pet would be waiting for her the next day, but when that day arrived, the gate staff was unable to locate the dog.
Delta representatives told CBS News that the dog escaped while in transit between terminals.