Dog dies during the Delta Air Lines stopover in Michigan

The owners, Michael Dellegrazie and his girlfriend, moved from Phoenix to New York and decided to get on their 8-year-old Pomeranian, Alejandro, on a plane so they could pick up the dog at the Newark airport.

During the stopover in Detroit, Alejandro was held in a loading facility.

"There was a stop in Detroit at 6 a.m. Alejandro was checked in. He was alive, then between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., he was checked again and he was dead," said Dellegrazie's lawyer, Evan Oshan.

Delta spokeswoman Lisa Hellerstedt said the dog was discovered with vomiting and fluids in the cage.

"The family is very upset," said Oshan. "This is essentially the member of your family who died, saying they are upset is an understatement."

Delta issued a statement saying it is "carrying out a thorough review of the situation" and has been working with Alejandro's owners to support them however possible.

"We know that pets are an important member of the family and we focus on the welfare of all the animals we transport," the statement said. "As part of that review, we want to get more information about why this may have happened to ensure that it does not happen again."

The airline also said it offered a veterinarian to evaluate the dog's body.

Other incidents involving dogs related to airlines

Alejandro's death comes after United Airlines had three animal-related incidents in the space of a week in March.

First, a French bulldog was killed on a flight from Houston to New York after a United flight attendant told his owners to put the dog on his aircraft carrier in an overhead compartment. United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the pbadenger told the stewardess there was a dog on the carrier, but that the attendant "did not hear or understand it, and did not place the dog in the cargo compartment."
A day after incident, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo was transferred to Japan when he was supposed to end up in Kansas. In Irgo's place there was a great Dane who was supposed to go to Japan. The dog met with his family two days later.
Later that week, a flight was diverted to Akron, Ohio, after the airline realized that a pet was loaded on the flight by mistake, airline spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin told CNN. The flight went from Newark to St. Louis, but the pet had to fly from New Jersey to Akron. United told CNN that the unidentified animal was "safely delivered to its owner."

Kwegyirba Croffie of CNN contributed to this report.


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