• Delta Air Lines is accused of losing a woman's dog during a layover in Atlanta, leaving the dog missing for more than 72 hours.
  • The passenger was denied entry to the US and forced to return to Santo Domingo, only to discover her dog was missing when boarding her return flight.
  • Delta claims to be committed to ongoing search efforts and in touch with the woman, but she has not received any updates since the initial contact.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is accused of losing a woman’s dog amid a flight from the Dominican Republic to the US. Paula Rodriguez embarked on a long journey from Santo Domingo to San Francisco but noticed her dog was not with her during a layover in Atlanta.

Rodriguez said Delta initially contacted her about her lost dog's claims last week but has not provided an update since. The airline is reportedly working with partners to find the dog.

“Your dog can’t come with you”

According to Atlanta News First, Rodriguez arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on Friday, August 18th. When she went through customs, an agent informed her that she could not enter the US.

“They told me very kindly, ‘We’re so sorry but you don’t meet the requirements to enter the U.S., you’ve been denied entry, and you need to be sent back home to Santo Domingo.’” “They told me, ‘You’re going to have to sleep in a detention center and your dog can’t come with you.’”

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport sign.
Photo: University of College/Shutterstock

When Rodriguez was about to board a flight back to Santo Domingo the following morning, she noticed her dog was nowhere to be found.

“I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t get on this plane, I don’t know where my dog is,’” Rodriguez to Atlanta News First. “I was crying, I had panic attacks on the plane, 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.’”

Upon her arrival in the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez began calling Delta and filing claims but said no one knew where her dog was. On Monday, a representative from the airline contacted Rodriguez and confirmed that her dog had broken out of the kennel and had been missing since Saturday.

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Missing for days

Since then, she has reportedly not received any further updates from Delta regarding her beloved dog, Maia.

“After that, Delta hasn’t called me once or emailed me about the whereabouts of my dog,” Rodriguez explained. “She’s been missing for more than 72 hours in the biggest airport in the United States. Without food, without water, she must be scared.”

Delta 737
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Delta said the operations teams at ATL have been working to find the dog. Despite Rodriguez’s claims that the airline is not providing updates, Delta said it remains in touch with her to give updates, according to Atlanta News First.

“Committed to ongoing search efforts”

Delta Communications Representative Drake Casteneda said on Thursday that the carrier is working with other partners to help locate Maia.

“Delta people feel deeply concerned for the customer and the dog and we’re committed to ongoing search efforts, working closely with the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation and other stakeholders,” said Drake Casteneda, a communications representative for Delta.”

In the meantime, Rodriguez is reportedly turning to social media to get help finding her dog. She rescued Maia from the streets and has had her since she was one month old.

Simple Flying has also contacted Delta for an update on the dog’s whereabouts. A representative could not be immediately reached.

Source: Atlanta News First