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‘No one ever told me not to leave my dog in the car’ said woman accused of animal cruelty

Posted at 11:45 AM, Apr 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-11 11:46:20-04

UPDATE: Pegram pled not guilty and her case was dismissed at trial.

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- "No one ever told me not to leave my dog in the car," Linda Pegram said as she left Chesterfield County court Thursday morning.

Pegram is charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty after police said two dogs died in her locked car Wednesday afternoon. Police said they were called to Pegram's vehicle parked outside the Walmart at 12000 Iron Bridge Plaza around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a report of a dog locked inside the car. Once on scene, police said they found two dogs inside. After they forced their way into the car, police discovered both dogs were dead.

"I didn't intentionally kill my animals. I love my animals with everything," Pegram said. She added she parked close to the store, in a shaded area.

Police said it appeared the dogs were in the car for about an hour before police were notified. CBS 6 meteorologist Carrie Rose said temperatures in Central Virginia were in the mid-80's at that time. She said temperatures inside vehicles could rise 20 - 30 degrees over outside temperatures.

"I was devastated. My daughter was crying. I was crying. Some lady walked up to me and called me a stupid bitch. Police didn't do anything," Pegram said.  "We just made a mistake, a human mistake and I don't know what the outcome will be."

Pegram is due back in court on June 19.