Paula Rodriguez and PETA are offering a reward up to $6,000 for the safe return of Maia, a black Chihuahua mix who went missing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Aug. 18, 2023. (Supplied)
ATLANTA - The search continues for a dog which escaped its carrier at Atlanta’s airport three weeks ago.
Paula Rodriguez was flying with her pup, Maia, from the Dominican Republic to San Francisco when she was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport over a visa issue during her layover on Aug. 18.
Rodriguez, who was flying Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, had been with Maia in a carrier under the seat in the plane’s cabin, but CBP does not allow animals to be people facing a possible denial of entry until their departure.
Delta had been caring for the dog in its operations area outside terminal buildings, but at some point, it escaped its carrier.
An intensive around-the-clock visual search has been ongoing at the airport, even employing night-vision goggles to try to locate Maia.
In a statement, a Delta spokesperson wrote:
"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."
Rodriguez has offered a $1,000 reward for the safe return of Maia. Thursday, PETA joined in the search, offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the safe recovery of Maia.
"We are asking everyone to look hard for Maia, who may be hiding, so that she can go home to the people who love her and to provide any information that could lead to her recovery," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.
Maia is described as a black Chihuahua mix.
The family also set up a GoFundMe page to raise $15,000 to try to hire a detective to aid in the search.
Anyone who has seen Maia or knows where she may be is urged to contact PETA at 757-622-7382.