Another week, another dog dies on an airplane. Or at least it feels like it’s happening every week. This time, Alejandro the Pomeranian died in his cage, after a cross-country flight. Airline officials and Alejandro’s family found out about his death after the plane arrived at its destination on Wednesday.
“I want to know what happened,” said Michael Dellegrazi, the owner of Alejandro. “The dog is not a pet. He’s a member of our family.”
Alejandro and his family were flying with Delta Airlines from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey. Michael Dellegrzi and his girlfriend were moving there, so they took their pup with them. Alejandro was traveling in a kennel in the cargo hold of the plane.
“There was a stop in Detroit at approximately 6 o’clock in the morning,” said Evan Oshan, who is Dellegrazie’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,”
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 has been working d
tly 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.”
Pets may not die on planes exactly every week, but they die about once every two weeks.
The figures show that in 2017, U. S. airlines transported 506,994 animals. Of them, 24 died, according to Department of Transportation figures.
Earlier this year there was a particularly significant case in March. A dog died on a United Airlines flight after the stewardess had ordered the passenger to put the dog carrier in the overhead bin. The result was that the dog died of overheating during the flight. After that incident, United implemented a new policy for traveling with pets, in order to minimize the incidents. We are yet to see how effective that policy will be and whether we’ll see more such policies in the future.