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July 18, 2013

Dog overheats in vehicle

Owner, who was buying water, faces preliminary cruelty charges

JEFFERSONVILLE —

A Boston Terrier has fully recovered after overheating in a vehicle as its owner was in the East 10th Street Kroger grocery buying water Wednesday afternoon.

The dog’s owner, Laura Esparza, 37, of Melody Lane in Jeffersonville, has been preliminarily charged with class A misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Esparza was reached by phone Thursday and said that she was “surprised” her dog suffered such distress after leaving the pet in the vehicle for “no more than 20 minutes” with its windows [partially] down.

The dog was later transported to J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter and given a cool bath and intravenous fluids for hydration.

Jeffersonville police and animal control departments responded to a GMC Denali about 6 p.m. to find the small white-and-black dog, Chimi, “that appeared to be in distress,” according the police report. Police reported that Kroger employees had attempted to find the Denali’s owner by combing through the grocery’s aisles and making numerous pages over the store’s intercom.

Following the unsuccessful search for Esparza, police notified animal control and then decided to enter the vehicle through an unlocked rear hatch to rescue the dog.

“We began giving the canine water, but the canine was in such distress it would not take any water in,” according to the police report. “As animal control arrived on the scene, the canine began defecating in the vehicle, which animal control advised was not a good sign for the canine.”

After animal control had transported Chimi, Esparza approached the vehicle and began asking about her dog’s well-being.

Esparza told police that she had seen officers around her vehicle and thought she was in trouble, which is why she didn’t respond to intercom pages in the store or approach the vehicle sooner.

“Ms. Esparza did not show any remorse toward the [dog], and she advised she just wanted to go home,” police reported.

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