A Tennessee woman whose dog died after being left alone in a hot car has been sentenced to two years in jail.
Alexis Cain, of Memphis, Tennessee, left her 3-month-old puppy inside her car while she shopped at the Wolfchase Galleria mall on a 99-degree July day, according to FOX13. Other shoppers saw the dog in the car and called the police department and, although the officers were able to rescue the dog from the vehicle, it later died. Cain was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after the dog’s death.
“They recorded [the dog’s] internal temperature as 110 degrees, which is the most their thermometer would go,” Katie Pemberton of the Memphis Humane Society told FOX13.
Despite the dog’s death, the fact that Cain did not have any previous convictions — on any charges — have led some to believe that Cain’s punishment was too harsh. Pemberton disagrees.
“This two-year sentence is not the norm, based on what we’ve seen,” she told the news station. “But we believe it should be the norm.”
According to her research, other animal abusers have spent as little as 16 days in jail.
Pemberton hopes that Cain’s case — and prison sentence — will show pet owners that the state is serious about punishing animal abusers. She also hopes that it will raise awareness for the very real dangers of leaving a pet locked inside a parked car.
“We need to educate people that when it’s above 70 degrees, it is not safe to leave an animal or a person in the car,” she said.