A woman has been charged after a dog died in a hot car.
People outside a Walmart in Trussville, Alabama, noticed the dog locked in the car as temperatures outside reached 90 degrees.
Bystanders called the police, who arrived and tried to locate the owner of the car inside the shop. After they were unable to find Stephanie Shae Thomas, they broke the window of the car, but were unable to revive the dog.
Police officer lieutenant Phil Dillon of the Trussville Police Department told Trussville Tribune:
Officers responded to the scene and found a dog alive in an older model Mercedes with all of the doors locked.
Officers tried to locate the driver of the vehicle but were unable to do so. Officers then broke out a window of the vehicle and removed the dog, which was still alive from the vehicle.
Efforts were made to keep the dog alive but sadly, the dog did not survive.
The Jefferson County Humane Society came to the scene and recovered the dog’s body.
According to the police and CCTV footage, Thomas had parked the car in the lot around 4am, which means the dog was inside the boiling car for approximately eight hours.
She told police that she went shopping in Walmart, lost track of time and forgot to check on her dog.
If you see a distressed dog in a car, this is what you should do:
Firstly you should phone the police.
It is advisable not to force your way into the car immediately but if the police cannot get there in time you then have to decide if you should take action.
If you decide to do this:
Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do.
It is important to tell the authorities why you are doing it, where you are, take photos of the dog and take the name of any witnesses.
It is within the law to commit damage to someone else's property if...
...at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence you believed that the person or persons whom you believe to be entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in question . . . .would so consent to it if s/he . . . had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances' (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).
Only do this if you are 100 per cent certain of the situation and are prepared to defend your actions in a court of law, should any action be taken against you.
If you would like to receive more guidance on information on cruelty please consult their specialist call line on 0300 1234 999.