Monday, June 27, 2011

Woman Behind Bars After Dog Found In Heat

By Candace McCowan, WREG

Vanessa Hogan says the sight was sickening. Sunday she says her family found her neighbors pitbull, once playful and healthy, now sick.

"The dog had no water, no food. The dog was chained up, had a thick chain on him and it was going through his skin. My brother was the one who saw it," said Hogan.

Hogan said the dog was in such bad shape she called Memphis Police.

"We stood in front of her house; it was about ten of us. She was talking crap telling us to go. There is a no trespassing sign, but we ignored. We barged in her gate and were feeding the dog a pack of hot dogs and a bucket of water," said Hogan.

According to the affidavit the dog was taken to the Memphis Animal Shelter. Doctor's there say the dog appeared to have suffered a heat stroke. The dog's condition was so bad, he had to be euthanized. 38 year old Debra West is now facing charges of animal cruelty.

Veterinarian Susan Heartsill says it takes only minutes for dogs to suffer in the heat

"Breathing really fast like they can't catch their breathe collapse, if they can't get up that is a big sign that there is a problem," said Heartsill.

She says already this season she has treated animals for heat stroke.

It's dangerous, even deadly and can be prevented.

"Make sure they have plenty of access to fresh water, and that they're not in what we call the oven affect, which would be a building or plastic encasement, because when the sun shines on that, it creates an oven environment," added Heartsill.

West is behind bars on a $3,500 bond. She is due in court Tuesday morning.

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