Dog dies during Delta Air Lines layover in Michigan

DETROIT -- 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 traveling from Phoenix to New York and decided to put their 8-year-old Pomeranian, Alejandro, on a plane so they could pick up the dog 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.

A Delta official said the dog was discovered with vomit and fluids in the cage.

"The family is very upset," Oshan said. "This is essentially their family member who died. To say they are upset is a gross understatement."

Delta released a statement saying it is "conducting a thorough review of the situation" and has been working with Alejandro's owners to support them however possible.

"We know pets are an important member of the family and we are focused on the well-being of all animals we transport," the statement said.

"As part of that review, we want to find out more about why this may have occurred to ensure it doesn't happen again."

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

AlertMe