Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Man Says Delta Airlines Lost His Dog At LAX

We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

A man is searching for his dog after he went missing Friday night, apparently from a cargo area at LAX.Frank Romano said he was flying to Tampa out of LAX via Delta Airlines Friday night with his family and his 6-year-old bull terrier, Ty. Ty was in the cargo area in a carrier Romano said he had purchased from PetCo. Romano's family boarded the plane, but a Delta employee escorted him off the plane and told him that an hour earlier, Ty had chewed through the door of his pet kennel and escaped. Romano found this odd.

"I don't know how he could've bit through his kennel though when it had a metal door and was made of hard plastic," he said.

Romano says the story about what happened to his "best friend" gets even more bizarre from there. For one, he doesn't understand why the Delta employee didn't tell him about Ty's escape immediately. Also, he said he was told that the kennel Ty escaped from would appear in baggage claim, but it never did.

Romano said he searched around LAX, but Ty never turned up. The next day, his family flew to Tampa as planned. Romano has called Delta several times, but the situation has only become more confusing.

Support for LAist comes from

"They give us the run around," he told LAist. "Even gave us a number to the cargo place at Tampa airport saying he was there. We called and said they had no dogs."

If this story sounds odd, you might be disheartened to know that it's not uncommon. Delta apparently has a history of losing pets. The airline has allegedly lost so many dogs under their care that someone created a petition with over 2,000 signatures to demand they take responsibility.

In 2011, a New York man bought a puppy in Alabama, then arranged to have the puppy sent back to New York along with him. Delta temporarily misplaced the dog, then found it in Atlanta. In 2011, a German Shepherd headed from California to Germany to join its owner—a couple in the Army—got loose in Atlanta while under Delta's care. That dog was later hit by a car and died. Another unsatisfied Delta customer reported that he and his girlfriend had adopted a stray dog in Mexico in 2010, spent money nursing him to health and then made plans to bring the dog back to their home in Canada with them. Delta allegedly also gave them the run-around as to where the dog was with a similar story about an escape, but couldn't seem to produce the dog.

Delta also mixed up two children in 2010—a boy and a girl—sending one to Boston and the other to Cleveland when it was meant to be the other way around.

Romano is still looking for Ty, and still doesn't have any concrete answers from Delta. A representative at Delta told LAist that they would look into this and get back to us tomorrow. We're hoping we see Ty and Romano reunited soon.

Update, November 7, 12 p.m.: Delta has provided us with the following statement:

Delta continues to investigate what happened, but early indications show that procedures were followed, and the dog may have compromised the kennel on its own. Delta immediately worked with LAX airport teams and the customer to locate the dog but was unsuccessful. We remain in contact with this customer, and we are fully supporting the search for their pet. Delta understands that pets are important members of the family and regrets this occurred while this pet was entrusted to our care.

Most Read