(FeaturedNews.com) – In Roanoke, Virginia, a tragic incident occurred involving a dog left inside a parked vehicle during extremely hot weather, resulting in the dog’s death. As a result, James Lipscomb, 37, and Ashleigh Hutton, 38, residents of Roanoke County, have been arrested and charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty. The arrest was made by Roanoke police, who responded to a call from a DoorDash driver around 1:25 p.m. on Sunday. The driver reported the dogs’ distress, and upon arriving at the scene, the police discovered two dogs inside the car. Unfortunately, one of the dogs had already passed away due to signs of heatstroke, while the other dog was rushed to the Emergency Veterinary & Specialty Services in Roanoke for treatment of the same condition.
The Door Dash driver, Victoria Owens, was unable to reach the owners and decided to contact the police for assistance. She shared a video of the distressing incident on social media, which quickly went viral on TikTok, accumulating over 3 million views. In the video, the visibly distressed dogs can be seen panting inside the vehicle. Owens expressed her disappointment, mentioning that she could not take action to rescue the dogs herself due to the absence of a “Good Samaritan” law in Virginia that would have allowed her to break a window to save the animals.
Following the incident, two additional dogs were seized from Lipscomb and Hutton’s residence. The Roanoke police reported that their animal wardens have filed a petition to gain custody of all the remaining dogs, but the exact number of dogs owned by the couple remains unknown.
The tragic event prompted the Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood and Adoption Center to issue a warning on their Facebook page, urging people not to leave pets in hot cars. They shared a post with photos of the dogs, the owners’ vehicle, and a dog-breeding website, emphasizing the need for awareness and responsible pet ownership.
Animal organizations emphasize the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars, as the temperature inside a vehicle can rapidly increase to lethal levels. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) warns that on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees within just 10 minutes, escalating to 120 degrees after half an hour. The ASPCA advises that a dog or cat’s temperature should never exceed 104 degrees and strongly discourages leaving pets in parked cars, even if the windows are cracked or the air conditioner is running.
Unfortunately, despite these warnings, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reported that 31 animals have already died in hot vehicles this year alone, highlighting the ongoing need for awareness and responsible actions to prevent such tragedies.
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