Dog found dead after cross-country flight


(ABC NEWS)- A dog on a cross-country flight was found dead in its cage upon arriving at its destination airport on Wednesday, according to the pet’s owners and the airline.


“I want to know what happened,” said Michael Dellegrazie who with his girlfriend owned the Pomeranian named Alejandro. “The dog is not a pet. He’s a member of our family.”


Alejandro was sent on a Delta Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey, where the couple is moving. The dog traveled in a kennel in the cargo hold of the jet.


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


In 2017, 506,994 animals were transported on U.S. airlines, and of those, 24 died, according to Department of Transportation figures.


One recent case that got a lot of attention was in March when a dog died on a United Airlines flight after it was put in its carrier into an overhead bin. The pet’s owners alleged that a flight attendant knew a dog was in the carrier when she told them to put it in the overhead bin. United said the attendant had not heard the passengers’ telling her about the dog. After the incident, United said it was starting a new policy of issuing bright-colored tags to passengers traveling with pets.

Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.

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