By Janice Broach, NECN
Cocoa is a year-old pit bull, who is fighting for her life.
Gregory Fisher and Amanda Lillard are behind bars, charged with animal cruelty after Cocoa sat in a hot car for hours on Saturday.
When they drove off with Cocoa almost dead in the back seat, police stopped Amanda for having no taillights on her vehicle.
Police say the dog in the backseat and brought her to an emergency center. She was in such bad shape, that doctors considered euthanizing her.
It will cost thousands of dollars to try and save Cocoa, with no one at this point footing the bill.
Updated June 22, 2010 9:58am - The following article is by Ryan Poe, The Commercial Appeal:
Pit bull euthanized after spending four hours in car waiting for owners to return
A 1-year-old pit bull was euthanized Monday in East Memphis, one day after being left in a car outside a plasma clinic for four sweltering hours.
Gregory Fisher, 30, and Amanda H. Lillard, 22, were arrested Sunday after a police officer made a routine traffic stop and found the dog, Coco, unresponsive on the back seat of their car, the affidavit says.
Coco was taken to the Animal Emergency Center on Summer Avenue, where she had to be put down Monday night, said center administrator Clarita Atkinson.
The dog’s organs had been disintegrated by the heat, causing her slow, painful death, Atkinson said.
Fisher and Lillard were charged with animal cruelty Sunday. Lillard was also charged with violation of financial law and improper lighting on a motor vehicle.
Both were in the Shelby County Jail on $1,000 bonds today at 8:30 a.m., and are scheduled to appear in court July 12.
This is Fisher’s sixth arrest since 1997 and Lillard’s first offense, according to court records.
Coco’s death is one shared by many pets each summer, Atkinson said.
Owners should remember to keep their pets in cool, shady areas – not in cars – and provide plenty of water, she added.
“The rule I use is, if you wouldn’t leave your groceries in the car, don’t leave your pets in the car,” she said. “If it’s too hot to leave your milk and ice cream in the car, it’s too hot for your pets.”
Update June 22, 2010 5:24pm - The following article is by Mike "The Watchdog" Matthews, WREG:
Couple Charged With Animal Abuse After Leaving Dog In Car For Four Hours
Coco a 1 year old pit bull
Owners said they left dog in the car for about four hours
Coco euthanized because internal organs shut down due to heat
(MEMPHIS 6/22/2010) Memphis Police Officers were working a simple traffic stop. The turn signals in a car weren't working. They were talking to Gregory Fisher and Amanda Lillard, both of Mississippi, when they noticed the back seat. They saw a young pit bull
that's the dog's name they were told. Coco wasn't moving at all. Police were told that Lillard and Fisher had left the dog in the back of their car while both were inside a plasma clinic. For four hours. The heat index was around 105 degrees.
Police rushed the dog to an emergency animal hospital in North Memphis. "When she (Coco) came in, "hospital administrator Clarita Atkinson said, "she was in really poor condition."
Vets at the hospital tried their best but the dog's internal organs were too damaged because of the heat. "Her kidney and liver had just about quit functioning, " Atkinson said. "You can't keep giving a dog fluids if the dog can't get rid of fluids. We had no other option."
Some pet owners at the animal hospital were outraged over what happened to Coco. "I've rescued many dogs from the back seats of cars," Gale Sulley of Memphis said. "To do that to a dog is unthinkable. The owners need to be put in a closed car in the heat for four hours to see what its like."
John Longinotti was waiting for his pet dog when talking about Coco. "We came in this morning, and the first thing I did was ask about Coco," he said. "I don't know what should happen to those so called owners, but it shouldn't be good.
Atkinson says it's simple. "People think they can put a pet in a car, crack the window and everything will be fine. That's not how it works. If you don't want your groceries sitting in a hot car for hours, you don't want your pet sitting in the vehicle either."
Fisher and Lillard have been charged with animal cruelty. They have a July 12th court date.