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Dog found dead on Delta flight, and the family wants answers

Tanya Edwards
Photo: CBS New York

Yet another dog has been found dead on an airplane, and the devastated family wants answers.

Delta Air Lines said on Saturday it is investigating the death of Alejandro, an 8-year-old Pomeranian, who died after it traveled in one of its plane’s cargo holds during a cross-country flight, CBS reports.

The dog was traveling from Phoenix to Newark via Detroit this week, when he was found dead inside his cage.

“I want to know what happened,” said Michael Dellegrazie, who with his girlfriend was Alejandro’s owner. “The dog is not a pet. He’s a member of our family.”

“There was a stop in Detroit at approximately 6 o’clock in the morning,” Dellegrazie’s attorney, Evan Oshan said in a statement to ABC. “Alejandro was checked on. He was fine. Then approximately at 8 o’clock and 8:30 in the morning, the dog was again checked on, he was dead, and there was vomit in the cage, according to Delta.”

In a statement to ABC News, Delta said, “We know pets are an important member of the family and we are focused on the well-being of all animals we transport. Delta is conducting a thorough review of the situation and have been working directly with Alejandro’s family to support them however we can. As part of that review, we want to find out more about why this may have occurred to ensure it doesn’t happen again and we have offered to have Alejandro evaluated by a veterinarian to learn more.”

Alejandro is the latest dog to be lost or killed on a cross-country flight. In March, a French bulldog died on a flight from Houston to New York after a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog in an overhead bin. The dog, Kokito, suffocated. 

“This little guy fought hard for his life, filling our flight with his cries until he finally ran out of breath,” passenger June Lara wrote on Facebook after the incident. “United Airlines does not care about the safety of their furry travelers. This poor family paid $125 for their pet to be murdered in front of them.”

And last Tuesday, a woman traveling from Oregon to Kansas with her family on a United Airlines flight was stunned when she went to collect her dog from the cargo facility and instead discovered a Great Dane waiting in its place. Their dog had become the unwitting victim of a mix-up with the other dog, which was scheduled to fly to Japan.

The dog was flown back to her on a plane after landing in Japan.

‘They had no idea where the dog was,” Swindle said. 

According to the Department of Transportation, 506,994 animals were transported on U.S. airlines last year. Delta carried 57,479 animals in 2017, and said two of them died, CNBC reports.

Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Delta for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

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