Prosecutors ponder charges after dog dies in hot car

Posted at 7:29 PM, Sep 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-06 19:29:28-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Animal control officials are investigating after the death of one of two dogs found left in a hot car in Jackson Ward Thursday afternoon.

The case shocked many, especially dog owners who wondered why anyone would leave the animals trapped inside a hot car.

"It's just very unfortunate that someone would take ownership of an animal and just not know how to take care of it -- or think about another form of life,” said Andy Hughes.

The two dogs were left in a locked sweltering car Thursday for nearly five hours, according to witnesses.

It took the quick action of neighbor Katy Best to jump in and save them.

"I pulled the window down and stuck my arm in the window unlocked it. We got the dog out,” said Best.

She managed to rescue one of the animals, but it was too late to save the other dog that died in the car.

City officials said the dog who was rescued is recovering at Richmond's Animal Care and Control.

"Obviously, if it's hot out, the windows are up that dog is going to be threatened being inside that vehicle,” said Hughes.

CBS 6 News tried to contact the dog's owner Friday, but no one answered the door.

CBS 6 News also reached out to city leaders to find out if the dog owner will face animal cruelty charges.

City spokesman Mike Wallace said Richmond Animal Care and Control is still consulting with Richmond's commonwealth's attorney.

Area dog owners said they believe filing charges would send a strong message.

Best said the dog she rescued is like family to her and that she is in the process of filling out an application to adopt the animal.

However, that cannot happen until the Richmond commonwealth’s attorney decides whether to place charges against the dog owner. That decision is expected Monday.