Memphis woman Alexis Cain, 24, will spend two years in prison after being charged with the death of her dog over the summer.
Police were called to the Wolfchase Galleria in Memphis, Tennessee after three witnesses reported a small terrier foaming at the mouth inside a car, the Commerial Appeal reports. The car, a Ford Fusion, belong to Charlie Parker, 25, and Cain.
It is unclear how long the dog, a three-month-old terrier, was in the car on that July 29th. The temperature outside hovered around 99 degrees. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), temperatures inside the car could have reach 140 degrees within an hour, and 120 degrees within minutes.
The Humane Society warns that pets left in hot cars can suffer and die from heat exhaustion, suffocation, brain damage, and other illness. The AVMA reports that, every year, hundreds of pets die this way. They warn that interior temperatures can increase 20 degrees within minutes, and that cracking a window does little to cool the car.
Those at the scene were able to unlock the car and rush the dog to Raleigh Bartlett Animal Hospital, but the dog didn’t live. The cause of death was determined to be heat stroke and dehydration.
“The terrier’s internal body temperature remained at 110-plus degrees for 30 minutes after the terrier’s death,” says the arrest affidavit, according to the Commercial Appeal.
According to Fox13, both Parker and Cain were arrested in August for aggravated cruelty to an animal.
Parker was released the day after his arrest, but Cain remained at Shelby County Jail East on $5,000 bond.
As Fox13 reported, under Tennessee animal cruelty laws, the first conviction for such a crime is Class A misdemeanor sentenced to up to11 months in jail. The second conviction is a Class E felony subject to a $3,000 fine or up to six years in prison.
Cain, who was sentenced to two years, will file a petition to have her sentence suspended.