CONYERS, Ga. — A Connecticut woman has been charged with animal cruelty after her dog died when she left him in a hot car for two hours while visiting a restaurant in Conyers.
Channel 2’s Tom Regan was in Conyers on Wednesday, where earlier in July police tried to save the dog, but it was too late.
Police responded to a 911 call on July 19 about a dog that was spotted inside the locked vehicle. Police body camera video shows officers arriving at the scene and using a tool to enter the car.
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“I was sweating, really sweating and I couldn’t believe it. Mika is the name of the dog. He was stuck between the door and the driver’s seat. And he was actively seizing. His tongue was hanging out and he was foaming at the mouth,” Conyers Police Corporal said. Tahina Westbrook.
Westbrook entered the restaurant to locate the dog’s owner. Other officers attempted to cool and hydrate the nearly unconscious animal. The officer said his partner tried to revive the dog.
“He starts doing CPR on Mika, but it doesn’t work,” Westbrook said.
They rushed the dog to an animal hospital in Conyers, but the dog died shortly after arriving.
“The animal’s internal temperature on arrival at the hospital was over 110 degrees. The owner has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty for allowing this dog to be exposed to heat which ultimately caused his death,” Conyers Police Captain Buck Vaughn said.
Local vets say the intense summer heat can be dangerous for dogs, posing the risk of heatstroke even when they’re not inside a car.
“You want to watch for excessive panting. The most important thing is to make sure your dog does not go outside, especially in direct sunlight, for long periods of time without water or shade,” said Rockdale Animal Hospital Veterinary Technician Jordan Brown.
Police say the burning car tragedy was preventable.
“Don’t leave any pets in the car. It’s too hot. You might think it’s not nice outside, but it’s still hot inside that car,” Westbrook said.
Police have yet to release the name of the woman charged in the case.
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