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Three dogs in Oregon die after being left in truck for four hours on warm day

On Thursday, June 5, The Seattle Times reported that three dogs in Oregon State died after they were left in a truck for four hours during a warm day. According to Klamath County assistant animal control officer Gale McMahon, officers responded to a restaurant on Highway 97 in Chiloquin, Ore. on Monday afternoon after receiving an emergency call about the dogs. The three Rottweilers, including a one-year-old male and female and a five-year-old male, all died from the heat.

Three dogs in Oregon who died after being left in truck serve as reminder for pet heat safety
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid

According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), you should never leave your pets in a parked vehicle. During a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels that can cause heat sickness and death with animals. The HSUS notes that during an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees, where pets may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

McMahon indicated that someone had tried unsuccessfully to get the animals out of the vehicle.

“This actually was a tragedy that did not need to happen,” stated McMahon.

The 65-year-old Eagle Point woman who was responsible for the dogs was cited with three counts of animal abuse in the first degree. The Klamath County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and will not release the woman’s name unless she is officially charged with animal cruelty.

In Oregon State, animal abuse in the first degree is defined as:

(1) A person commits the crime of animal abuse in the first degree if, except as otherwise authorized by law, the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:
(a) Causes serious physical injury to an animal; or
(b) Cruelly causes the death of an animal.

(2) Any practice of good animal husbandry is not a violation of this section.

(3) Animal abuse in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

According to McMahon, the woman went inside the restaurant at about 9:15 a.m. and claimed that she had been making phone calls. While Monday’s high temperature was 81 degrees, McMahon estimated that it was likely more than 100 degrees inside the car.

If the woman is charged and convicted, she could spend up to 90 days in jail and pay up to $18,750 in fines, She would additionally lose the right to own any dogs for up to five years.

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