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Airline: Delta
Incident Date: Jun 18, 2009
Report Date: August 2009
Incident Type: Death
Animal: Cat
Brachycephalic: No Definition
Animal Age: 7 years
Flight Number: 131
Originating Airport: MUC (Munich "Franz Josef Strauss" Airport)
Destination Airport: ATL (Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta Intl)
Reporting Airport: ATL (Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta Intl)


Carrier Delta Air Lines

Flight Number Flight # DL131/18 – MUC/ATL Flight # DL1975/18 – ATL/TPA

Date and Time of Incident June 18, 2009 – 1417

Type of Incident Deceased

Description of Animal Breed: Domestic Feline Age: 7yrs

Description of the Incident Delta flight 131 arrived from Munich (MUC) at approximately 1417 on June 18, 2009. Upon arrival into Atlanta (ATL), flight 131 was met by our pet van drivers. As the agent began to unload the animal from the aircraft he noticed the animal appeared to be in distress. He immediately contacted the supervisor on duty who instructed the agent to bring the animal to the cargo facility. The domestic feline, also known as “Sophie” was immediately transported to the local veterinary hospital. The hospital was contacted at approximately 2001 to check on Sophie’s status. We were informed that although Sophie’s condition appeared to be improving, the hospital wanted to keep her overnight for further observations. By morning we received word from the hospital that Sophie had passed. The owner was notified and we received authorization to perform a necropsy. Once the owner was advised of Sophie’s unfortunate demise, she also commented that Sophie had breathing problems in the past.

Additionally, Sophie’s owner had two other cats on flight 131. All three kennels were loaded in the same cargo bin. On June 19th, the owner reported the other two cats arrived as scheduled and in “good shape.”

Cause of the Incident A necropsy was performed at Delta’s expense by Tri City Animal Hospital. On evaluation there was significant mucopurulent nasal discharge and the abdominal cavity contained large amounts of fatty tissues. The doctor concluded that Sophie was deceased due to heat stroke and that her condition was further complicated by “an existing upper respiratory condition and excessive fat accumulation.”

Corrective Action Taken An investigation was conducted. Results of the investigation determined the feline was properly loaded in the cargo bin and the on board circulation system was properly working. No hazardous materials were loaded on the aircraft and the kennel met ventilation requirements. No corrective actions were warranted.

PetFlight Report:
August 2009 Airline Pet Travel Report
Original Report

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