Visa mishap leaves dog stranded at Atlanta Airport for three weeks

Photo: KhaoSod

After an agonising three-week separation, a relieved owner was reunited with her beloved dog at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. The heartwarming dog reunion was an emotional moment as they were once again in each other’s arms.

The dog, who had been missing, was discovered to be in good health despite showing signs of fatigue.

This saga began on August 18, when a woman named Pollas Rodrigues and her six year old dog Chao Mia embarked on a journey from their home in the Dominican Republic to California for a two-week holiday via Delta Airlines. Unexpectedly, when the woman and her dog arrived at Delta’s hub airport of Atlanta for a stopover, Pollas was informed by border patrol officers that her tourist visa was not in compliance with regulations.

Consequently, her visa was revoked, and she was told she had to return home on the next available flight. The next flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, wasn’t scheduled until the following day, leaving Pollas stranded overnight in quarantine and separated from her beloved Chao Mia.

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The following day, Pollas arrived at the departure gate ahead of time, hoping to reunite with Chao Mia. However, she was shocked to find her pet was not there due to visa issues. Pollas, who could not stay in the United States longer than 24 hours, had no choice but to board the flight to Punta Cana airport without her dog.

The distraught woman explained that being without her precious pet left her in a state of panic on her journey home.

“Everyone who knows me knows what Chao Mia means to me. I never go anywhere without Chao Mia. She’s so well-behaved that I can take her to restaurants. She is half of me in everything.”

But things got worse from there. Two days after she returned home, a representative from the airline informed her that she wasn’t just separated from her pet, the dog was lost at the airport.

The rep explained that, while preparing for transport, airport staff had opened the dog’s crate, and Chao Mia had run away. The team had been searching tirelessly ever since. Pollas then asked her mother to travel to Atlanta to assist in the search. There are a million places a dog could disappear in the vast 4,000-acre Hartsfield-Jackson airport, and Pollas explained her desperation.

“Chao Mia’s disappearance feels like a nightmare.”

Finally, her worst fears subsided when airport officials in Atlanta announced the discovery of the dog, three weeks after she went astray. The airport officials revealed that Chao Mia had been hiding near the North Cargo Transport Centre.

Initial reports on Chao Mia showed that despite her exhaustion, she was in good health. The dog was taken to a vet, and it is expected that she will return home soon, reported KhaoSod.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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