A woman who left her dog inside a vehicle for two hours Tuesday faces four counts of animal abuse after the dog had to be euthanized, according to Anne Arundel County Police.
Officers were called about 2:30 p.m. to the Petco store at 2319 Forest Drive Unit D in Annapolis after a woman ran into the store with a sick dog. The woman, later identified as Monifa Pendelton of New York City, told employees she had left her dog, Chloe, inside her vehicle and it became ill.
The air temperature on July 1 was 88.8 degrees, police said.
Petco employees believed the dog was in critical condition and immediately called for police assistance. Anne Arundel County Animal Control responded and Petco workers continued to care for the dog that appeared to be suffering from heat stroke.
Pendelton told police she had forgotten and left her 15-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Chloe, inside a vehicle for about two hours. When she realized Chloe was still inside the vehicle she left the store and found the lethargic pet in her vehicle. At that point she ran into the Petco to seek help.
An officer took the dog to the Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic for immediate help. After triage treatment, a veterinarian said the dog was suffering from extreme heat exhaustion or heat stroke and its internal organs were shutting down. The doctor said the best medical opinion was to euthanize the dog, which was done.
Animal Control took custody of the deceased dog so a necropsy can be performed to determine cause of death.
Pendelton, 44, of 2280 Frederick Douglas Blvd. in New York, NY, was charged with abuse or neglect of an animal, depriving an animal of necessary sustenance, inflicting unnecessary suffering or pain on an animal, and failing to properly care for an animal.
Each count is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. As a condition of sentencing, the court may order a defendant convicted to participate in and pay for psychological counseling.
The Anne Arundel County Police Department reminds residents that it is critical in the summer to take vulnerable people and pets inside, rather than leaving them in vehicles, or leave them at home. Police encourage anyone who sees an animal, child, or vulnerable adult in a closed vehicle on a hot day to call 9-1-1.