Florida woman charged with dog’s hot car death


PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR/CNN) - A dog died after being left in a hot car for several hours on Thursday and its owner now faces charges.

Police say the female pit bull mix was locked inside a Toyota Camry in a Walmart parking lot in Escambia County, Florida.

The high temperature was 89, but it felt closer to 100.

The incident was captured on video. The owner, Crystal Marie Houk, was audibly inconsolable as deputies checked out the backseat.

Houk was charged with one count of animal cruelty, a third-degree felony.

She told deputies she left the air conditioner running, but a Walmart employee says when he opened the door, hot air was blowing.

"You've got a high temperature, in the middle of the summer. You've got a closed door, and you've got hot air blowing on an animal like that, and ultimately, this is what happens,” said Chef Deputy Chip Simmons with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Houk also said she wasn't in the store long, but surveillance cameras show the dog was left inside the car for about three hours.

“Animal control tried to take the temperature of the animal itself and found that the temperature of the animal pegged out the thermometer that they were trying to use,” said Simmons.

The thermometer stopped working when it hit 107 degrees.

Houk is out of jail on bond. She has a court appearance on Sept. 12.

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