A Phoenix, Arizona, woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges after she allegedly left her dog inside her parked car for more than five hours.
The 7-year-old Yorkshire Terrier mix was found dead in Deanna Caroline Zapata’s car, which had been parked outside a storage facility for most of Sunday afternoon, a href=”http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/dog-dies-after-five-hours-in-hot-car-in-phoenix-woman-jailed-” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>ABC15 reports. The outside temperature on Sunday was reportedly a sweltering 90 degrees.
Zapata parked her car outside the facility at about 12 p.m., according to the local news station. Two hours later, a storage center employee noticed that the vehicle was running in the parking lot, but did not see a dog. Just after 5 p.m., Zapata told the same employee that someone had stolen her dog from the car; after searching the vehicle, the animal was found dead under the driver’s seat. A bowl of water that she had left for the dog was empty and had been overturned on the car’s floorboard.
When police officers asked Zapata why it took her five hours to return to the vehicle and check on her pet, she told them that she was “bad with time.” She said that she left the air conditioning on in the car because she knew she couldn’t take her dog into the storage facility, but officers said that she understood that leaving an animal in a hot car was illegal.
Zapata, who is reportedly homeless, was taken to jail and faces one charge of felony animal cruelty, according to AZ Family. Her court date has been scheduled for May 31.