Delta is investigating the death of a Pomeranian it flew to Detroit

Key Points
  • The dog traveling from Phoenix to Newark via Detroit after a Delta flight earlier this week.
  • The cause of death has not yet been determined.
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Delta Air Lines said on Saturday it is investigating the death of a dog that died after it traveled in one of its plane's cargo holds during a cross-country flight.

Alejandro, a Pomeranian, was traveling from Phoenix to Newark via Detroit this week, where he was found dead.

An attorney for the Pomeranian's owner, Evan Oshan, who also represented the family of Kokito the French bulldog that died on the United flight, told NBC 4 New York that the dog's owner is trying to retrieve Alejandro's remains.

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

"Delta is conducting a thorough review of the situation and have been working directly with Alejandro's family to support them however we can," the airline 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 and we have offered to have Alejandro evaluated by a veterinarian to learn more."

Pet transportation on airlines has drawn more scrutiny in recent months, after several deaths of animals that were en route to their destinations died. The increased attention takes place against a backdrop of a surging number of animals traveling in cabins.

United Airlines last month said it would no longer accept animals other than cats and dogs, and banned dozens of dog breeds from its cargo hold. That change followed the death of a French bulldog puppy that died after it was placed in an overhead bin, and two other dogs that the airline flew to the wrong destinations.

U.S. airlines transported 506,994 animals last year, according to the Department of Transportation. Delta carried 57,479 animals in 2017, and said two of them died.

Correction: This story has been updated to show the dog died after it flew in the plane's cargo hold. A previous version said the dog died in the cargo hold.