Woman arrested when dog dies after being left in hot car for 2 hours outside Conyers restaurant

CONYERS, Ga — A woman from Connecticut has been charged with animal cruelty after her dog died when she left it in a hot car for two hours while visiting a restaurant in Conyers.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Conyers Wednesday, where earlier in July, police tried to save the dog, but it was too late.

Police responded to a 911 call on July 19 about a dog that was spotted inside the locked vehicle. Police body camera video shows officers arriving at the scene, and one using a tool to get inside the car.

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“I was sweating, really sweating and I couldn’t believe it. Mika is the dog’s name. He was wedged between the door and the driver’s seat. And he was actively seizing. His tongue was hanging, and he was foaming at the mouth,” said Conyers Police Cpl. Tahina Westbrook.

Westbrook went into the restaurant to locate the dog’s owner. Other officers attempted to cool off and hydrate the nearly unconscious animal. The officer said her partner tried to revive the dog.

“He starts performing CPR on Mika, but it’s not working,” Westbrook said.

They rushed the dog to an animal hospital in Conyers, but the dog died soon after arriving.

“The internal temperature of the animal upon arrival at the hospital was over 110 degrees. The owner was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals for allowing that dog to be exposed to the heat which ultimately caused his death,” said Conyers Police Capt. Buck Vaughn.


Local veterinarians say the intense summer heat can be dangerous to dogs, posing the risk of heat stroke even when they are not inside a car.

“You want to watch for excessive panting. The biggest thing is making sure your dog doesn’t go outside, especially in direct sunlight, for long periods of time without water or shade,” Rockdale Animal Hospital veterinarian technician Jordan Brown said.

Police say the hot car tragedy was preventable.

“Don’t leave any kind of pet in the car. It gets too hot. You may think it’s not sunny outside, but it’s still hot inside that car,” Westbrook said.

Police have not yet released the name of woman charged in the case.

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