Bloodied blanket found with dead dog after Delta flight sparks inquiry
A bloody blanket was among the items returned to a New York man whose dog died while travelling with Delta Air Lines, the man’s lawyer said.
Eight-year-old Pomeranian dog Alejandro was found dead in its carrier during a stopover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, en route from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey last Wednesday.
On Monday, Evan Oshan, a lawyer for the dog’s owner, said he was still awaiting the results of a necropsy on the pet.
Mr Oshan said Alejandro had been flying alone in the cargo section.
The lawyer said he was confused by the bloody blanket.
“It was wet. They couldn’t get the blood stains out. There was an attempt to clean it,” he said.
Mr Oshan said he wondered whether someone was attempting to cover up what happened.
He said the dog’s carrier was also washed – potentially eliminating evidence.
Delta told WXYZ-TV a flight attendant checked in Alejandro at about 6am. The dog was dead just two hours later.
“We lost a family member,” owner Michael Dellagrazie, of Staten Island, New York, said.
A Delta spokesman said in a statement the airline was focused on the well-being of all the animals it carries.
He said: “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 spokesman added that Delta offered to have the dog evaluated by a veterinarian to find out why it died but the family did not agree to it.
“The family now has Alejandro and we continue to offer our support,” he said.
Mr Oshan said the dog passed a physical test before getting on the flight from Phoenix.
The owner of the dog has called for answers. “I got the phone call from my girlfriend … and then she gave me the number to call Delta,” Mr Dellegrazie said in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America.
This is not the first time animals have been hurt in transit.
In March this year a 10-month-old puppy died on a United Airlines flight after an attendant allegedly forced the owners to put it in an overhead bin, despite guidance stating the animal should be placed under the seat of the passenger in front.
In 2017, US airlines transported over half a million pets. Of these, 24 died, 15 were injured and one was lost, according to data released by the US Department of Transportation.
Source – Independent