ROMULUS, Mich. – Delta Air Lines is investigating the death of an 8-year-old dog during a stopover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, en route from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey. The Pomeranian, named Alejandro, was found dead Wednesday morning on his freighter in a cargo facility at the airport, southwest of Detroit on Romulus.
In a statement, Delta said it is "carrying out a thorough review of the situation to ensure it does not happen again and we have been working directly with Alejandro's family to support them as we can."
He added: "As part of that review, Delta offered to have Alejandro evaluated by a veterinarian while he was in our power to find out more about why this may have happened." We are disappointed that we were not allowed to perform a necropsy immediately. After this unfortunate situation, the family now has Alejandro and we continue to offer our support. "
There were at least 4 dog deaths while in the care of American airlines this year.
In 2017, according to data from the Department of Transportation, of the 506,994 animals transported by US airlines. UU., There were 24 pet deaths, 15 injuries and one loss. Eighteen of the dead and 13 of the injuries were at United. Delta had two deaths and one injury.
This year, in February, a bulldog died of unknown causes on Hawaiian Airlines, and in March, a German Shepard died of natural causes on a Delta flight. And a dog died in the upper compartment on a United flight in March.
In May, United said that would no longer accept 21 dog breeds and four breeds of cats considered high risk due to respiratory disease issues. The affected breeds include boxers, pugs and Boston terriers. American, Delta and other airlines had already refused to send those races.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the dog had died in a cargo hold. In fact, Delta says that the dog could not respond during a stopover, since it was being transferred to a connecting flight. The story was also corrected by pointing out that the owners of the animal were not on the flight.
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.