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Man who left dog to die in hot van has been sentenced to prison time

Maru
MaruFamily photo

According to Wednesday's NBC Los Angeles News, a transient who is accused of leaving a senior dog to die inside of a stolen van in North Hollywood, California, has been sentenced to over a year in prison.

The victimized dog, a 10-year-old yellow, Labrador retriever named "Maru," had been sleeping in the back of a Honda Odyssey on August 17, 2013 when 29-year-old Danny Fis stole the vehicle. Two days later, the stolen van, along with Maru's body, was recovered; a necropsy revealed that the dog died from heat exhaustion inside of the van.

Maru's guardian, Nayo Mateo, had left the air-conditioning on inside of the vehicle to keep the dog cool while he ran inside of a nearby store to pick up his wife and young daughter. Fis took advantage of the situation and drove off in the vehicle, with the dog still inside.

Fis was arrested shortly after surveillance images of him were released to the public.

On Tuesday, Fis pleaded no contest to the animal cruelty and vehicle theft charges stemming from the incident, and a judge sentenced him to 16 months in prison.

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