Dog dies during Delta Air Lines flight to Newark

NEWARK— A dog being flown by Delta Air Lines from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey, died during the trip Wednesday, according to a spokeswoman for the airline.

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

During the layover in Detroit, Alejandro was held in a cargo facility.

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

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

Oshan does not agree.

"It was very bizarre when I opened the bag, and I saw this bloody blanket, with other items that were clearly just washed or very wet," Oshan said. "There was no vomit."

Oshan continued saying, "I think across the board, the airline industry has been showing a lot of disrespect, and disregard for pets, passengers, there safety rules; there are many issues that are rampant in the airline industry. I'm very concerned about what's going on."

"We just lost a family member. That's exactly what happened, and someone has to be responsible for it," Oshan said.

Delta released a statement saying

“Delta is conducting a thorough review of the situation to ensure this does not happen again and have been working directly with Alejandro’s family to support them however we can.”

The airline also said it offered to have the dog's body evaluated by a veterinarian.