Saturday, July 22, 2017

Iowa: AKC dog breeder's three dogs die while locked inside hot car outside dog show

IOWA -- Three dogs died of heat exposure after they were locked in a vehicle Saturday outside of a dog show in Ottumwa, police said.

The Ottumwa Police Department responded to reports Sunday that the incident had occurred Saturday in the 100 block of Church Street, according to a news release.

The American Kennel Club All Breeds Dog Show was held Saturday and Sunday at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, according to the venue’s calendar. It was hosted by the Southeastern Iowa Kennel Club.

Two dogs were reportedly found dead at the scene, and a third was taken to a local veterinary clinic, where it died. A fourth dog survived.

The dogs in the car were Chihuahuas and Chinese Cresteds, Hunter said, but she did not have specific information on the breeds of those that died.

An investigation into the case is ongoing, and no charges had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon.

Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew said police were "behind the ball" on the investigation because the tip was called in a day after the incident. The dogs had been removed from the scene by Sunday.

American Kennel Club spokesperson Brandi Hunter said in an email that a person who owned at least some of the dogs in the car has had their AKC privileges revoked.

"The American Kennel Club takes all allegations of animal neglect and cruelty very seriously," Hunter wrote. "We have conducted an investigation of this incident and as a result of our findings, we have suspended the AKC privileges of the owner at this time and are cooperating with law enforcement."

"Anyone responsible" for the dogs is believed to have been from out of town and visiting for the show, McAndrew said.

McAndrew said the case was made more difficult because witnesses present for the show would have left town by the time the tip came in.

Yeah and those cretins never bothered to call the police before skipping town. They cover up for each other.

The situation should serve as a reminder to anyone in contact with a pet, he said.

“You can’t leave a dog in a car during these hot days," he said. "Even on a moderately warm day, it’s too hot for a dog to be in a car.”

Saturday's high temperature reached 89 degrees in Ottumwa, according to the National Weather Service.

(Des Moines Register - July 11, 2017)