A Jamestown dog owner has been charged with animal cruelty after first responders found three dogs unresponsive in a hot vehicle.
The dogs, which included one of a breed with a thick double-coat prone to overheating, were determined to be dead on arrival at a local animal hospital in Rhode Island on July 21.
According to local reports, a statement from the Jamestown Police identified the woman suspected of leaving them in the car as 65-year-old Ann Garnett.
She had left them in the car for an extended period of time, according to police, and faces charges of unnecessary cruelty to an animal, a felony, and three counts of confinement of an animal in a motor vehicle.
The dogs were a 4-year-old black Labrador, a 7-month-old black Labrador and a 4-year-old gray Keeshond—a breed with a double coat—according to the Providence Journal.
All of the windows inside of the vehicle were rolled up and the air conditioner wasn’t working, police said, reported NBC10. Whether it could have malfunctioned is being investigated.
Police said the vehicle was running, reported WPRI, and there was no water in the vehicle.
Security footage obtained by NBC shows the attempted CPR by first responders who had been called to the scene by people who had spotted the dogs in the vehicle.
#New– surveillance video we obtained shows people attempting to do CPR on the dogs, ice them. It also shows them/first responders loading the dogs into a van to be transported to the hospital. @NBC10 pic.twitter.com/RcWUcm4Jbt
— Sam Read (@NBC10_Sam) July 22, 2019
Temperatures were in the mid-80s to low 90s in Jamestown during the time the dogs would have been in the car.
WPRI reporter Eric Halperin wrote on Twitter: “I spoke with a close friend of the dogs’ owner who says the owner is a huge dog lover who would never do something like this purposely. Says it is beyond a tragedy.”
I spoke w/ a close friend of the dogs’ owner who says the owner is a huge dog lover who would never do something like this purposely. Says it is beyond a tragedy. Left a voicemail w/owner and knocked on her door, no one answered. Neighbors also say owner is a dog lover. @wpri12 https://t.co/UubUYVELNq
— Eric Halperin- WPRI (@EricHalperinTV) July 22, 2019
Neighbors also said the owner is a dog lover, according to Halperin.
Even with the windows down, temperatures in a car can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more within minutes, Dr. Courtney Howard from Banfield Pet Hospital told ABC4. “These conditions can be fatal to a pet within 10 minutes.”
Being left in a hot car is by far the biggest danger facing dogs in the summer heat. However, they can also suffer from the heat with burns to their pads during walks—but may stoically continue their walk without indicating distress to their owners.
Last month a veterinary hospital shared a photograph of the burned paw pads of a very stoic golden Labrador together with a warning for dog owners to be careful of hot pavements as the summer heats up.
Olaf had walked over a mile along a local trail near Spokane, Washington, before his owners realized his pads were burned, according to the Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital in a post on social media.
“Even then he wasn’t whining or limping!” wrote the clinic on Facebook. “He is one tough cookie (and exceptionally sweet cookie).”
According to many vets, like Olaf, some dogs just keep going when their pads are burning, and won’t want to stop a much-loved walk to complain—meaning the onus is on the owners to be vigilant about hot surfaces.
“A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dogs’ pads,” wrote the clinic.