Incident Date: Jul 12, 2008
Report Date: September 2008
Incident Type: Death
Brachycephalic: Yes Definition
Animal Age: 2 years
Flight Number: 4907/12
Originating Airport: CAE (Columbia Metropolitan)
Destination Airport: ATL (Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta Intl)
Reporting Airport: ATL (Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta Intl)
Delta Air Lines Live Animal Incident Report - Redacted Reporting Period: July 01, 2008 â€“ July 31, 2008
Carrier Delta Air Lines
Flight Number Flight # DL 4907/12 â€“ CAE/ATL Flight # DL 067/12 - ATL/DFW Flight # DL063/12 â€“ ATL/DFW (Alternate)
Date and Time of Incident July 12, 2008 â€“ 1810-1830
Type of Incident Deceased
Description of Animal Breed: Southern White Age: 2 years
Description of the Incident The dog â€œMachineâ€ was traveling on flight 4907/12 arriving late into Atlanta at 1628. This caused Machine to miss his connecting flight departing at 1637. Machine was taken to the next flight destined to Dallas Fort Worth, TX. Flight 063/12 was scheduled to depart Atlanta at 1910 from gate B16. Machine was transported in a container to B16 at approximately 1715-1720. Flight 063 gate changed to A20 around 1745. Machine was then transferred from B16 to A20 at approximately 1750-1805. The curtain was lifted on the container for ventilation during the time Machine was sitting on the gate. The flight making up the outbound flight 063/12 arrived A20 around 1825. After unloading the aircraft, the gate crew immediately started loading the outbound flight. The ramp agent in charge of loading the aircraft went to load â€œMachineâ€ on the aircraft and he noticed the dog appeared motionless. The ramp agent notified the cargo supervisor. The cargo supervisor arrived at A20 within 10 to 15 minutes after receiving the call. He removed Machine from the gate area and upon opening the kennel he announced the dog was deceased. He then took Machine to the cargo facility and immediately contacted the local kennel company for transport to the nearest veterinary hospital. The shipper and consignee were also notified. The shipper gave permission for a necropsy to be conducted by the veterinary hospital.
Cause of the Incident A necropsy was performed at Deltaâ€™s expense by Tri City Animal Hospital. According to the necropsy report, â€œDue to the degree of external bruising, etc, it appears that the petsâ€™ death was due to struggling resulting in cyanosis and collapse. Brachycephalic breeds that are confined to small places are prone to respiratory compromise due to over exertion.â€
We remain fully aware of our responsibility and obligation to ensure a safe, protective environment for each live animal transported. Delta relied upon the health certificate that was presented at the time of tender and unfortunately it did not reflect Machine as being a brachycephalic breed. Per the health certificate, Machine could withstand temperatures range from 30 degrees to 100 degrees.
Corrective Action Taken
An immediate investigation was conducted. Communication was re-distributed to all stations regarding the policy which excludes snubbed nosed breeds from being transported when the ambient temperatures are above 70 degrees. Origin station management reviewed and stressed to cargo agents policies and procedures, acclimation statements, health certificates and overall safety for transporting live animals. Live Animal Safety Briefing and Bulletin was published for the ground handling agents and Pet First agents. Ground handling agents were advised never to use containers to transport or hold animals while in transit.
Due to the sensitive relationship between Machine and his owner, Delta took immediate action in resolving the matter including, providing for Machineâ€™s cremation.