The owner of a Pomeranian that died during a layover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Thursday is seeking answers from Delta Air Lines.
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Michael Dellegrazie said his 8-year-old dog, Alejandro, died on a flight from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey, where he and his girlfriend are relocating, while in an animal-care facility at the airport.
"I got the phone call from my girlfriend ... and then she gave me the number to call Delta," Dellegrazie said in an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America."
An airline official told ABC News the deceased dog was placed in a sealed bag and placed on ice, as requested by veterinarians, in an effort to maintain accuracy in any future necropsy.
Dellegrazie's attorney, Evan Oshan, said he contacted Delta immediately to "put them on notice" and sent the airline a "preservation of evidence letter."
"I wanted to get to the bottom of this -- figure this out. We had a dead family member. A dog, but a family member," he added.
Dellegrazie said he was filled with "very strong feelings of pain, anger and disgust" at the moment he received his dog, which intensified when he went through the pup's personal belongings and found them soaking wet.
Delta told ABC News the dog may have been wet from the refrigeration of the dog's body or from bodily fluids. Delta does not wash deceased dogs, the airline said. Doing so would jeopardize the accuracy of a necropsy.
Dellegrazie said he's calling for a police investigation and a separate FBI probe to make sure that pets are "treated like they’re passengers," adding, "I'm calling upon the FBI to get involved -- not only in Alejandro’s case, but in other cases."
"We know pets are an important member of the family and we are focused on the well-being of all animals we transport," the company said. "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."
Nearly 507,000 animals were transported on U.S. airlines last year, and of those, 24 died, according to Department of Transportation figures.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect additional comments from Delta Air Lines regarding the circumstances of the case.