French Bulldog puppy died from suffocation on United Airlines flight

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 allegedly forced the family to put the pup in the overhead bin before takeoff.

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.

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 (pictured is puppy Kokito) 

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 (pictured, dead in the bag after the 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 (pictured, dead in the bag after the flight)

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.'

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 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. 

A United flight attendant had forced Sophia Ceballos and her mother Catalina Robledo (pictured together) to put the pup in the overhead bin before takeoff

A United flight attendant had forced Sophia Ceballos and her mother Catalina Robledo (pictured together) to put the pup in the overhead bin before takeoff

Sophia (right) said her mother Catalina Robledo had struggled to put Kokito's carrier under the seat in front of her when a flight attendant made them put the dog in the overhead bin

Sophia (right) said her mother Catalina Robledo had struggled to put Kokito's carrier under the seat in front of her when a flight attendant made them put the dog in the overhead bin

Sophia Ceballos, 11, said her mother Catalina Robledo had struggled to put Kokito's carrier under the seat in front of her. 

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. 

'And she said, 'It doesn't matter, it still goes up there'...She felt the dog and she put him up there,' Sophia added. 

According to CBS, the flight attendant is 'distraught' and claims she didn't know there was a dog in the carrier, but Sophia said they made sure to tell the woman.

United Airlines has since released a second statement, saying they learned a customer 'did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier'. 

A probe was launched by the animal cruelty division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office in Texas

A probe was launched by the animal cruelty division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office in Texas

United Airlines has claimed that the flight attendant was unaware there was a puppy inside the carrier, which has been disputed by Sophia and other witnesses

'It's a dog, it's a dog. He can't breathe up there,' Sophia (pictured with Kokito) recalled telling the attendant

United Airlines has claimed that the flight attendant was unaware there was a puppy inside the carrier, which has been disputed by Sophia and other witnesses

'However, our flight attendant did not understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin,' the airline added. 

'As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support.'  

Sophie said Kokito was a 'really special dog' and that the family is devastated

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