According to Nola.com Times Pecayune, the adorable gray and white pit bull puppy rescued from a hot car in the parking lot of the North Shore Square Mall in Slidell, La. earlier this week, was returned to the two women who left the pup in the car while they shopped.
Lajessica McKenzie, 23, and Carleisha Shelly, 20, told officers of the Slidell Police Department they didn't think they would be shopping that long. Officers were able to break into the car and save the puppy, who at the time of his rescue, was dehydrated, lethargic and in need of medical attention.
Louisiana law provides a defendant with a first time simple animal cruelty charge to regain possession of their pet. The women still face a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or six months in jail for the misdemeanor.
On that Sunday, Slidell Polie Chief Randy Smith stated the following about the danger the puppy faced if an emergency call had not been placed:
"There is no doubt that the puppy would have died if our officer wouldn’t have intervened. With the temperatures being as hot as they were, the inside of the car must have exceeded over 150 degrees; even with the windows cracked. People need to realize that leaving a child or animal inside of a vehicle during the summer can be deadly. My officers are instructed to take any action necessary to preserve life, whether it is a child or an animal."
The puppy was taken to Slidell Animal Control and has been reported to have recovered.
Louisiana law does provide for stricter punishments for subsequent animal cruelty charges, including but not limited to higher fines, longer jail sentences, and the judge having the discretion to ban repeat offenders from owning or keeping anymore pets.
Let's hope the women learned their lesson and treat this adorable little puppy with respect and caution for his health and future welfare.
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