Airport Employees Care For Stranded Mystery Dog Until Owner Found

The Lost-and-Found office at Miami International Airport processes thousands of misplaced items left behind by harried travelers. But one particular misplaced “package” recently left the staff stumped—at least temporarily.

A Shiba Inu dog named Penelope, or Penny for short, was discovered near a TSA checkpoint, her family nowhere to be found. She was stranded all alone in her travel crate.


Luckily, Penny was turned in to the Lost-and-Found, where Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) Operations Specialist and dog-lover Rosa Garcia was there to handle the situation. Though, to be fair, Rosa and her fellow employees were initially unsure of what to do. After all, they had no idea where Penny came from.

Was she abandoned? Were her owners out there somewhere desperately searching for her? One thing was clear; Penny couldn’t simply be stashed away with the other lost items until someone claimed her.


After spending some time with the sweet, intelligent pup, it became obvious that Penny was friendly, well-trained, and housebroken. Together, they decided that Rosa and her husband Christopher, who is also an MDAD Operations Specialist, would welcome Penny into their home. But only until her family could come for her. The couple was more than happy to take care of the very good girl as if she was their own. 


Three weeks later, Penny’s owner was finally able to contact the airport. It turns out that while they were traveling, Penny’s owner had a major medical emergency. But in the hurry of rushing him to the hospital, Penny was accidentally left behind.

The man was incredibly relieved to hear that his sweet pup was safe and sound under the care of such a loving family. Together, they arranged for Penny to be picked-up. And even though it was her day off, Rosa brought Penny to the airport so she and her dad could be reunited.


In recognition of Rosa and Chris going way above and beyond with their customer service, both of them were named Miami International Airport’s employees of the month—a well-deserved honor, in our humble opinion! 

See more of Penny’s story below.

Remember, when flying with a dog, it’s important to know that not all airlines have the same rules when it comes to traveling with pets. You should notify the airport in advance, and you should ensure that your pup is wearing a name tag with your updated contact information at all times. This way, just in case something happens, you have the best chance of being reunited. 

Featured Image: Youtube

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