February 2021 Employee of the Month: Pet dog gets to stay with its pack after ruff start to trip home
Miami-Dade Aviation Department Airport Operations Specialist Jenny Rodriguez was named Miami International Airport’s February Employee of the Month for helping a traveling pet dog stay with its owners on their return flight to Colombia, after a ruff start because of some missing documentation.
When the Moreno family of three arrived at MIA with their dog to check-in for their flight to Cali, the airline informed them that they were missing a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) travel document for the dog – something they were not aware of when they departed Colombia. When the airline told them that their pet would not be able to travel with them, the family’s mother began to sob and panic at the thought of leaving without him. Her son started making plans to cancel their tickets and somehow incur the cost, even though they had exhausted their travel expenses over their 14-day trip.
While walking through MIA in search of a way to make alternate arrangements, the family met Specialist Rodriguez and told her everything they were going through. Rodriguez discussed the situation with her supervisor, who then contacted senior-level management at the airline. Rodriguez stayed by the family’s side through the entire ordeal, which began at 3 p.m. and ended at nearly 9 p.m. when the airline waived the fee for the new tickets and got the family in touch with the USDA office so they could get the appropriate paperwork for their dog the next day and return to Colombia.
“Jenny was humane, considerate and diligent, and she took on our fears as if they were her own,” said the son in a thank you letter. “Without her, nothing that happened to us would have been possible. Thank you, MIA, for having Jenny. We look forward to our next visit, when we can contact her and respectfully give her a present from our country.”