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A necropsy carried out on the nine-month-old French Bulldog puppy has confirmed the dog died from suffocation after being stuffed into an overhead locker during a United Airlines flight.
The death of Kokito made national headlines last month after it was revealed a United attendant had forced the family to put the pup in the overhead bin before takeoff.
Probe - Animal - Cruelty - Division - Harris
A probe was launched by the animal cruelty division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office but said prosecutors would wait to decide whether to pursue criminal charges until the investigation is complete, according toNBC New York.
Now the investigation is one step closer to being completed after the puppy's necropsy, conducted at Cornell University, found it had died from decreased oxygen levels in the overhead compartment, TMZ reports.
Stress - Animal - Airway - Issue - Breed
Stress combined with the animal's narrow airway, a typical issue with the breed, were also factors.
Meanwhile, United has announced it will once again allow certain dog breeds in the cabin during flights, although French bulldogs remain banned due to 'concern for higher adverse health risks.'
Airline - Dogs - Flight - Crews - 'compassion
The airline had suspended all dogs while flight crews went through mandatory 'compassion training.'
The incident occurred on March 12, during a flight from Houston to New York after a flight attendant told the family to put the dog, who was in a carry bag, into the overhead lockers.
United - Airlines - Flight - Attendant - Carrier
United Airlines has claimed that the flight attendant was unaware there was a puppy inside the carrier, which has been disputed by Kokito's owner and other witnesses.
Sophia Ceballos, 11, said her mother Catalina Robledo had struggled to put Kokito's carrier under the seat in front of her.
Flight - Attendant - Dog - Bin - CBS
That's when a flight attendant allegedly insisted the dog be placed in the overhead bin, she told CBS.
'It's a dog, it's a dog. He can't breathe up there,' Sophia recalled telling the attendant.
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