A woman from Trussville, Alabama has been charged with a felony after leaving her dog inside a hot, locked car for 7 hours at a Walmart parking lot.
Store surveillance at the Trussville Walmart show 34-year-old Stephanie Shae Thomas parking at the store at 4 a.m on Wednesday July 4th. By 11 a.m, police had arrived at the parking lot after concerned shoppers noticed the dog suffering in the Mercedes sedan and called 911.
Temperatures in Trussville were in the late 80’s but inside a locked car, they can quickly raise much higher. According to heatkills.org, “When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.”
Police ran the vehicle’s tag number then had Walmart page the owner over the loudspeaker but with no response. After getting permission by the Walmart supervisor, police broke the backseat window and pulled out the dog.
Police put the dog on paper towels on the ground while a crowd tried to give it shade, water, and ice. A few minutes later, Sky passed away in the parking lot.
Her owner, 34-year-old Stephanie Shae Thomas, has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Thomas said she lost track of time while shopping and did not hear her name over the intercom.
“I killed something I was supposed to take care of,” Thomas told AL.com. “I deserve whatever is coming because Sky didn’t deserve that.”