MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WCSC) - A Myrtle Beach woman whose dog was pronounced dead Monday after being left in a vehicle will be charged with animal cruelty, Mt. Pleasant police say.
According to an incident report, police were called to Petco in the Wando Crossing Shopping Center around 4:55 p.m. in reference to a deceased dog found inside a vehicle.
The dog's owner, 38-year-old Natalie Amanda Allen of Myrtle Beach, told officers she left Macy, a 1-year-old Boxer mix, inside her vehicle for no more than 30 minutes while she went into a store. Allen claimed she parked under shade and left the vehicle running with the air conditioning turned to 60 degrees to keep the dog cool.
When Allen returned to the car, the report states she told officers she found Macy in the front seat unresponsive but that her eyelids were fluttering. She then carried Macy into the nearby Petco to get help.
According to the report, a woman who runs an animal rescue center in Mt. Pleasant and has "extensive experience with medical treatment for canines" told police she heard Allen shouting that her dog was overheating and jumped in to begin treating the dog for heat stroke.
The woman told police Macy had spots all over her skin from ruptured blood vessels, and rigor mortis had already set in. The report states Macy's rectal temperature hit 109.9 on a thermometer before showing "H," which meant her temperature was higher than the thermometer could read. Her attempts to lower the dog's body temperature and the use of CPR were unsuccessful, she told police.
Officers say the woman was adamant that the dog was deceased before she even began first aid.
Police say an inspection of Allen's car revealed dog feces on a towel in the back seat, but no obvious signs of a distressed dog attempting to escape. There was also no food or water for the dog inside the car.
The report states the car's windows were up, which Allen said was due to the air conditioning being left on.
Officials say there were no witnesses to confirm whether the car's air condition was on or off while Allen was in the store.
According to the report, Allen was allowed to take Macy back to her home in Myrtle Beach to later be cremated. Mt. Pleasant police say they convinced Allen to take her dog to an animal hospital in Myrtle Beach for evaluation, where a veterinarian confirmed there were visual signs and symptoms present for heat stroke, but could not say 100% that it was the cause of death.
Based on the police department's continued investigation, warrants were issued Monday night for Allen's arrest on a charge of animal cruelty.
Police say Allen, who is back in Myrtle Beach, will turn herself in on Monday, June 8.