FLORIDA -- A Manatee County Animal Services employee was charged with cruelty to animals after he left a dog in a van and it died of apparent heat stroke, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Fredrick A. Browning, 35, is charged with one count of felony cruelty to animals and after a warrant was issued, he turned himself in Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.
At the end of his shift on May 17, Browning unloaded the bodies of two dead dogs he collected earlier that afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office. However, Browning left a third dog inside, which he also picked up earlier that day, inside the van.
The dog was found deceased in the vehicle the next day by another employee, after being in the van all night, according to the sheriff’s office.
The dog suffered what appeared to be a fatal heat stroke, the sheriff’s office reported.
Browning told investigators he was in a rush, and forgot to remove the dog from the vehicle. He turned himself in to the Manatee County jail on Thursday.
Browning was placed on unpaid, administrative leave on May 22 after the sheriff’s office opened an investigation into the incident, according to an emailed statement from Nick Azzara, information outreach manager for Manatee County.
Browning, in addition to turning himself in, has been cooperative with the investigation, said Randy Warren, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
“It’s an unfortunate accident, but there’s an investigation that has to be done,” Warren said.
But officials say they are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again. After the incident, MCAS Chief Sarah Brown implemented a new policy where once a MCAS officer returns to his or her vehicle at the end of a work shift, a second employee inspects the vehicle to make sure no animals are left inside, according to the statement.
(Bradenton.com - June 22, 2017)