A Michigan woman was charged Tuesday after she left her three dogs in a car outside a casino for several hours, resulting in the death of two of them. The third dog was recovering at an animal shelter.
Sherill Langford, 49, left the dogs locked inside a parked car before disappearing into the casino for several hours Sunday. When police officers responded to a call and arrived at the scene, they found two dogs dead and another severely dehydrated. During questioning, Langford said she came out of the casino several times to check on her pets.
Langford faced three felony charges of torturing or killing an animal and four misdemeanors including lying to a police officer, CBS/Fox-affiliated television station WSBT reported.
Speaking about the incident, Dr. Eugene Wilson, a veterinarian, said it doesn't take too long for a dog to die in a car as they can heat up exponentially fast and a puppy cannot handle that head.
"It's 110 degrees within about 20 minutes sitting in a hot car," said Wilson, adding, "There's actually heat damage to tissues inside the body, the blood can clot, it can cause kidney damage, liver damage, things happen up here. They start losing consciousness, they can have a stroke."
Calling the incident "tragic," he added, "A lot of it's just out of meanness, but sometimes it's out of ignorance, too. People just don't know what is right for a dog."
"Don't put your dog in any environment that you'd be uncomfortable in," he added.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said the dog owners need to be very careful in order to avoid criminal charges.
"The bottom line is, when you have an animal you need to take care of it and you need to protect it because you are responsible for the life of that animal," he said.
Langford, who was bonded out of the jail, was scheduled to appear in court April 17.
In a similar incident in August 2018, a South Carolina officer was suspended after he left a police dog in a squad car for over eight hours, killing the canine. Officer David Hurt parked the car in the shade before attending training at a high school ground and had rolled the rear windows down. However, when he went back to the vehicle after the training, he saw the dog frothing at the mouth and panting. The dog died two days later from organ failure, Time reported.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.