Dog lost at Hartsfield-Jackson airport weeks ago found, officials say

A dog lost at the world's busiest airport has finally been found, and we captured the heartwarming reunion.
Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 10:36 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 12:32 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Three weeks ago, a woman flying internationally said Delta Air Lines lost her dog at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. But the airport posted on social media that the dog was miraculously found in good health on Saturday.

Maia was found hiding near the North Cargo facilities, the airport said. She was taken to a vet and will return home soon.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman claims Delta lost her dog at Atlanta airport while traveling internationally

Delta said in a statement that crews searched for the dog “around-the-clock,” including with night-vision goggles.

“We are thankful for the teamwork that has led to our customer’s dog’s recovery,” the statement said. “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.”

Robin Allgood, a lost pet recovery specialist, said she reached out to airport officials to search the property after a FedEx employee told her they had seen Maia. She slid on her back under a cargo rail and grabbed the dog, taking Maia to safety, she told Atlanta News First.

Robin Allgood was part of the team to find the missing Maia at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta...
Robin Allgood was part of the team to find the missing Maia at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, she said.(Robin Allgood)

But getting access to the airport wasn’t easy, Allgood said in a detailed Facebook post. She said she was bounced between Delta and FedEx for hours, with nobody letting her inside to search for Maia. She eventually spoke to a man through the fence of the FedEx facility, who called a few hours later and said he knew where the dog was hiding. After more struggle, Allgood was let inside, she said.

A wildlife specialist tried to capture Maia with a net, which didn’t work, according to Allgood. That’s when she stepped in.

“Everyone was standing around talking about what to do next…me being me decided I’m going for this dog,” she wrote. “I took a deep breath and just grabbed her around the waist without hesitating. The next thing I hear is someone yell Robin’s got her!!!!”

Allgood missed a flight to Hawaii with her family to save Maia — but she’ll fly out on Monday, she said.

Paula Rodriguez, Maia’s owner, said she tried to take her pet from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to San Francisco, California. But when she went through customs in Atlanta, officials reportedly denied her entry, she told Atlanta News First. Rodriguez had to sleep in a detention center and was separated from Maia, she said.

The next day on Aug. 19, Maia still wasn’t with her when she went to board the plane.

“I was crying, I had panic attacks on the plane,” Rodriguez said. “I had to get on the plane because the U.S. Border Control told me, ‘Hey, we can’t have you here by law in this airport for more than 24 hours.’”

Airport officials later told Rodriguez that Maia had broken out of her kennel, she said.

Rodriguez will soon be united with Maia, who she has had since the dog was 1 month old.