Four Dogs Die After Being Left in Car During Woman's Lunch Stop: Police

Police in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, say that four dogs died Thursday after a woman left them in a car while she went to lunch.

The woman, Tesia White, 25, of Gainesville, Missouri, was arrested and charged with four counts of felony animal cruelty.

White left her car parked to eat lunch at a restaurant, leaving the vehicle "running with the air conditioning on and the windows up," according to a release provided to Newsweek by the New Smyrna Beach Police Department.

"She allegedly checked on the dogs once during her meal, but found them all deceased when she finished her lunch approximately one hour later," the release continued. "The dogs consisted of a four year old Goldendoodle, two approximately 12-week-old Goldendoodle puppies, and a two year old Boxer."

Four Dogs Die in Hot Car: Police
Police in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, say that four dogs died Thursday after a woman left them in a car while she went to lunch. Above, people walk a dog on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida, on March 24, 2022. Eva Marie Uzcategui

According to a police report provided to Newsweek, an officer found White with the four deceased animals on the sidewalk, crying next to her boyfriend. White allegedly stated, "I should not be allowed to own a dog" and "I cannot believe I let this happened."

White was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail with a $10,000 bond.

In 2021, 59 dogs or other companion animals were reported to have died after being left in hot vehicles or outside in hot weather, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). So far this year, eight animals have died from being left in the heat, including the dogs that died in Florida on Thursday.

In a separate incident this month, an abandoned and malnourished dog died after being found behind a Walmart in Ohio. In late April, the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County said they had found the dog, Sunny, and that she was in "bad shape." Days later the welfare league announced the dog had died.

On March 10 in Texas, 39 dogs and two cats were seized from a house in what the sheriff's office described as a "possible animal cruelty situation."

"This was a multi-agency response to the location which led to the successful impoundment of the animals without incident," a spokesperson for the Williamson County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Unit said at the time.

Also in March, a professional dog walker in the U.K. was jailed for 18 weeks after leaving her client's dogs in a hot car.

The dog walker was accused of leaving two spaniels that she was paid to walk in the trunk of her car in July of 2021. At the time the dog walker left the animals in the car, the temperature was recorded at 84 degrees Fahrenheit.