A dog was discovered dead in his cage after he was put in the cargo hold during a cross-country flight.
Eight-year-old Pomeranian Alejandro traveled in a kennel in the cargo hold on a Delta Air Lines flight from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey as his owners, Michael Dellegrazie and his girlfriend, were moving house.
When the flight arrived at its destination on Wednesday (May 30), Alejandro was found lying dead surrounded by vomit in his cage.
The couple claim they followed Delta Air Lines’ instructions with Alejandro having a full physical check-up before being given the go ahead to board the flight.
Despite being found to be perfectly healthy, hours after being put into the airline’s care Alejandro sadly passed away.
Michael and his girlfriend are now searching for answers as he told ABC News:
We want to know what happened to our dog. The dog is not a pet. He’s a member of our family.
You can watch his interview here:
Michael’s attorney Evan Oshan told the television news channel the airline said Alejandro appeared to be ‘fine’ when the flight made a stop in Detroit.
He explained the circumstances of the dog’s death:
There was a stop in Detroit at approximately 6 o’clock in the morning. 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.
Delta are now carrying out an investigation into the incident.
A statement provided to ABC News read as follows:
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.
Last year a total of 506,994 animals were transported on US airlines. Of these, 24 died.
“Barking just stopped” French Bulldog puppy Kokito is dead tonight after a @united flight attendant placed him in overhead bin on flight from IAH to NYC. Tonight hear from that puppy’s owner in a heartbreaking interview about what happened. Don’t miss it on #KHOU11 at 10. pic.twitter.com/cXh4cZLv8e
— Marcelino Benito (@MarcelinoKHOU) March 14, 2018
Earlier this year a case of a dog dying on a United Airlines flight received much attention as French bulldog Kokito was forced into an overhead bin.
Owners Catalina Robledo and her 11-year-old daughter Sophia Ceballo had been travelling from Houston to New York with their 10-month-old puppy.
They allege a flight attendant told them to place their airline-approved pet carrier inside the overhead with Kokito inside.
— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
In a statement provided to CBS News, United Airlines said:
This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences.
The flight attendant who forced the family to put Kokito into the overhead claims she did not know the dog was inside the carrier.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.