“There are several dogs locked in a Dodge Durango,” came the call, as reported by Fox 8. “They got the windows cracked,” the good Samaritan continued. “There is no one around the dogs, and they think one of the dogs is dead.” All four windows of the SUV were cracked open, but the doors were locked and the helpless animals trapped inside.
PUPPIES DIE IN HOT CAR: Someone noticed three puppies in a truck parked outside an Orlando hotel and called deputies. Two of them died and a third is being treated.STORY: http://bit.ly/2XQAWSg
During the call, the same hotel guests began trying to rescue the pups through the tiny crack of the open windows. “The citizens, after they called 911, attempted to get into the car through an open window, probably 3 inches,” said Sergeant Al Giardiello of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, who responded to the 911 call. “They managed to get two of the puppies out,” he said, “because they were small.”
Firefighters quickly responded to the scene and successfully broke into the vehicle, pulling the last of the dogs to safety. Sadly, by that time, one of the puppies had already given up the fight.
— FOX 8 New Orleans (@FOX8NOLA) July 3, 2019
Fifty-four-year-old Penelope Stanley was arrested on July 2, 2019, on three counts of animal cruelty including confinement of animals without food or water. She willingly left the three puppies locked in the family’s SUV overnight outside the Orlando hotel, as the hotel didn’t allow pets inside. Stanley, of Mississippi, was in Florida with her husband and children visiting Disney World.
According to Fox 13, the Stanleys said they had recently adopted the dogs but had nobody to leave them with during their vacation. “They decided to just leave the dogs in the car and, I guess, let fate take its course,” Sgt. Giardiello responded.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported that three puppies—a 6-month-old Chihuahua named Minnie, a 3-month-old shepherd mix named Kiara, and a 6-month-old terrier mix named Gruff—were locked inside the car. The temperature climbed to sweltering highs of 112 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 44 degrees Celsius) by just 9 a.m. in the morning, and the puppies could endure no more after a long night trapped inside the Stanleys’ vehicle.
Minnie, the Chihuahua, was already dead when the rescue team arrived.
UPDATE: Sadly, Kiara has also died. Please keep Gruff in your thoughts.If you leave pets in a car and they are harmed…
Later that same day, the sheriff’s office updated concerned citizens on Twitter, posting: “6-month-old Chihuahua ‘Minnie’ died; 3-month-old Shepherd mix ‘Kiara’ is not doing well,” they wrote, adding, “We hope 6-month-old ‘Gruff,’ a terrier mix, will be ok.” Kiara was given oxygen and water but died shortly thereafter despite the emergency medics’ best efforts.
In the evening of July 3, the sheriff’s office posted an additional update on little Gruff, the one surviving puppy, on Facebook. “Gruff, the lone survivor of the three puppies is headed to a specialized animal rescue that will give him lots of care,” they said, followed by a stern warning: “If you leave pets in a car and they are harmed or die, we will arrest you for felony animal cruelty.”
We are sad to say that “Kiara” a 3-month-old Shepherd mix has also died. Sgt. Giardiello reminds the public of the hot temperatures and the penalties of leaving children or animals in cars. #AnimalCruelty pic.twitter.com/9xwD2YyWoA
— Orange County Sheriff’s Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) July 2, 2019
Stanley told the authorities that she checked on the dogs around 6:30 a.m., and that they were “fine” at the time. But the cool dawn quickly escalated into a burning-hot morning under the Florida sun. “If it’s too hot for a person inside a vehicle, it’s way too hot for an animal or a child inside that vehicle,” Sgt. Giardiello stated.
Stanley was taken to jail. According to CBS, her bond was set at $2,600.
UPDATE on the #AnimalCruelty case from yesterday. Gruff, the lone survivor of the three puppies (pictured) is headed to a specialized animal rescue that will give him lots of care.
OCSO also filed 3 charges of misdemeanor confinement of animals without food or water today. pic.twitter.com/LSEPrAjVFn
— Orange County Sheriff’s Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) July 3, 2019
Gruff was sent to Orange County Animal Services to receive the treatment, love, and care that he needs. While the losses of tiny, vulnerable pups Minnie and Kiara are mourned by many, Stanley’s tragic oversight needs to be a lesson to us all.
We all need to use our heads, all the time; dogs and hot cars do not mix. Not now, not ever.