Dog Dies in Kennel During Delta Airlines Layover

These days, it seems like flying with your dog is far more complicated than it once was: United Airlines, for example, banned a slew of breeds last month. Now, a family’s beloved pet Pomeranian dog was found dead in Delta Airlines’ kennel area during a layover in Detroit, per the Dogington Post and ABC News.

Tragic, right? Story goes that Michael Dellegrazie and his girlfriend were traveling with their dog from Phoenix to New York. Although Alejandro, their 8-year old Pomeranian, was small enough to ride in the cabin, the couple opted to have him travel in the plane’s cargo hold, assured that he would be well cared for. Because their trip involved a layover in Detroit, Delta staff loaded Alejandro off of the cargo deck and into a cargo storage area, or as some reports have said, what is a temporary kennel.

“There was a stop in Detroit at approximately 6 o’clock in the morning,” said Evan Oshan the couple’s attorney. “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.”

The airline responded with a formal statement via ABC News, writing that “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.”

Nonetheless, Dellegrazie is convinced foul play was at work: When he picked up his dog’s body and belongings, the Delta Airlines cargo facility was under investigation and blocked off with caution tape, a video by Detroit local station WDIV showed. What’s more, the blanket was covered with fresh blood and vomit stains. Plus, Alejandro had just had his check-up and received a clean bill of health from the vet. The lesson here? Keep your pups close when traveling—and maybe extra close tonight in bed.


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Rachel Zoldan

Rachel Jacoby Zoldan is a freelance writer and editor living in New York City with her husband two cats, Gerry and Cookie. (Who are, yes, named after a film about dogs.)

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