South Carolina

Dog died locked in woman’s car while she worked; now she’s in jail, SC cops say

What to do if you see a dog in a hot car

California has a new law to help save dogs stuck in cars on hot days. These are the steps to follow if you need to rescue an animal.
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California has a new law to help save dogs stuck in cars on hot days. These are the steps to follow if you need to rescue an animal.

A woman was arrested on animal abuse charges Wednesday after a dog died when it was locked inside her car while she worked, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.

The dog, a 2-year-old Chihuahua mix named Juju, was found dead inside of the car on June 21, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

It was around 1 p.m. when Richland County Animal Control called sheriff’s deputies to the car, which was parked in the 1800 block of Longcreek Drive, about the dead animal, according to the news release. That’s near where Interstate 20 crosses the Broad River.

The small, light brown dog was inside a wire kennel that was locked in a car, which was “parked in direct sunlight with windows slightly cracked,” the sheriff’s department said.

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The temperature was 97 degrees outside when Juju was found, with no water or food, according to the news release.

A veterinarian told sheriff’s deputies that the dog died in an hour or less, given its size and the heat inside the car, according to the news release.

The car belonged to Tremaina Jalee Davis, who said she was staying with someone who did not want Juju in the house, the sheriff’s department said.

Because of that, Davis locked the dog in her car before going to work at a Columbia-area business around 9 a.m., according to the news release.

After the 27-year-old woman was arrested, she was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where she was charged with ill treatment toward animals.

“Never leave pets locked in a vehicle — especially in the heat of the summer,” Sheriff Leon Lott said in the news release.

Anyone who sees a pet trapped in a sweltering vehicle is asked to call 911.

Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and others on June 13, 2017 demonstrated how to break into a hot car to free an animal at risk from heat-related death. Steinorth's bill in 2016 allowed the break-ins under certain circumstances.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.