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Romulus – An 8-year-old pet Pomeranian has died during an airline layover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

WXYZ-TV and WDIV-TV report that the dog was flown in a pet carrier from Phoenix and was headed to Newark, New Jersey. It was found dead Wednesday morning in its carrier in a cargo facility at the airport, southwest of Detroit in Romulus.

Delta Air Lines said a flight attendant checked on the dog about 6 a.m. The attendant checked again about two hours later and the dog was dead.

Delta said in a statement that it is “conducting a thorough review of the situation.”

The airline’s statement said the company is “working directly with Alejandro’s family to support them however we can. As part of that review, Delta offered to have Alejandro evaluated by a veterinarian while in our possession to find out more about why this may have occurred. We are disappointed that we were not allowed to have a necropsy performed immediately following this unfortunate situation. The family now has Alejandro and we continue to offer our support.”

The airline had hoped to have a necropsy performed but the family wanted their pet returned.

The family will be conducting its own necropsy, said their attorney, Evan Oshan.

Oshan also represented the owners of a French bulldog puppy that died earlier this year after a United Airlines flight attendant ordered the dog’s carrier to be stowed in an overhead bin.

“I think this stretches beyond just pets,” Oshan told WXYZ-TV. “I think this is the way that airlines, commercial airlines in general, treat people. They are treating people horribly.”

United Airlines stopped its pet-shipping business in March after several dogs were put on wrong flights, but plans to resume shipping pets as cargo in July. United said in May that it only will accept dogs and cats. It will ban 25 breeds including pit bulls, boxers, bulldogs, pugs and Persian cats. The changes don’t affect pets in the cabin.

The French bulldog that died in March was not part of the cargo program.

In 2017, 18 animals died on United, three-fourths of all such deaths on U.S. airlines. United cited its willingness to carry riskier breeds barred from other airlines.

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