Dog Shows

14 Dogs Found Dead in Truck After Air Conditioning Unit Fails

Fourteen dogs in total – 13 Golden retrievers and one Brittany spaniel – were found dead in the back of a box truck after their handler left them unattended in the air conditioned truck parked outside of a hotel while she went inside to take a nap.

The incident occurred in Roseland, Indiana, prior to the Michiana Kennel Club AKC Dog Show held at St. Joseph County Fairgrounds over the weekend. All 14 dogs were to be a part of the show.

The handler, Cortney Corral of Lakesyde Kennels and Handling out of Ohio, parked the box truck near her room at the Quality Inn and went inside to take a nap before heading to the fairgrounds. The kennel area of the box truck was equipped with an air conditioning unit for the dogs and was powered via an extension cord plugged into an outlet on an exterior building of the hotel. When she awoke from her nap two hours later, all 14 dogs were dead.

The heat index in Indiana that day was well over 100-degrees. All 14 dogs died from apparent heat exhaustion inside the truck.

Six of the dogs belonged to Corral and another 8 belonged to other owners that had entrusted her with their care.

Police determined that the hotel’s outlet and extension cord were functioning properly, but that a circuit breaker inside the truck tripped, causing the air conditioning unit to stop working. The use of similar air conditioned box trucks to house multiple dogs is not uncommon at dog shows.

At this time, the incident is being called a tragic and unfortunate accident. While no charges are expected to be filed, an investigation and necropsies are being performed by the St. Joseph County Humane Society.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Linda

    Aug 18, 2016 at 9:33 am

    I live very close to where this happened. I want all to know that she went in to go to bed for the night, not just a nap. No responsible person would leave their family member locked outside in the truck like she did. Why didn’t she stay with them? She is negligent and should be held responsible. It’s to bad they don’t see it that way. She should never be able to show or own dogs again! It is totally repulsive what she did and let of the hook for. The community here is not happy.

  2. Karina

    Jul 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    What a stupid people. Every year i read its danger for dogs health

  3. Kiley Baricevic

    Jul 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    SUE THE TRUCK COMPANY FOR EVERY F…… PENNY!!!!!!# AT RIP after only twork hours of being plugged in????? That poor girl girl to have this on her shoulders now how sad for her she obviously loves animals and this happens to her the truck company should be sued for every penny for Designing such a crappy truck that is obviously made for the purpose of hauling animals which obviously would need its air conditioning once in awhile. They should press criminal charges against this company who sells or designs this truck

    • Linda

      Aug 18, 2016 at 9:23 am

      I live very close to where this happened. She left them in the truck overnight. No responsible pet owner should do that…period!!! She should have stayed out there with them! It is not the trucks fault!

  4. Jen

    Jul 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    When we come across an article, it’s highly imperative that we read it in its entirety and with extensive attention. Overlooking the details not only depreciates the article’s content, but leaves the reader with obscure misunderstandings. By casting assumptions and judgements around without first delving into reliable sources as a base, it’s impossible to make educated and solid opinions. It’s important that we know what we are choosing to discuss before posting or commenting on an article.

    With that in mind, a lot of commenters seem to have taken this approach of not reading the article and are left with a rather confused and ill informed view of what occurred with this incident.

    As far as the facts state, this was a handler with a vehicle full of show dogs. She performed everything in her power and belief to provide the dogs with an appropriate and comfortable environment. As is a very common practice (and often times regulatory) in the show world, keeping large numbers of dogs in a safely contained and controlled area is the best option for handlers. Many resort to climate controlled vehicles. This is what the handler left the dogs in. What happened was that the AC failed – without warning- soon after she initially left the dogs. When she returned to check on the dogs a few hours later, they were dead of heat stoke. This very same thing could have happened in a home or animal shelter.

    It was an unpredictable accident. Despite our very best efforts in life, we can not always foresee every possible outcome. We can certainly do our best, but some accidents are ultimately inevitable.

    This individual handler was not neglectful. She was not ignorant. She was the subject to an unfortunate incident that could’ve happened to anyone. Anyone.

    Now, for the simple sake of education, I want to provide some side information about the responsible handlers and breeders that make up the show world. I believe it’s crucial to add this information because many seem to have a vastly misconstrued perception of what’s going on here.

    The entire point of breeding purebred animals (dogs in this case), is to perfect and improve the breed. Responsible breeders take great care in selecting particular individuals to make their breed stronger, healthier, and match up to the breed’s written standard. These are not greedy backyard breeders, pet store managers, or puppy mill workers. Responsible breeders will only raise enough animals to compliment the need of their stock. They are not focused on making a quick buck off of the dogs they sell. They will usually spend more money on the care of their animals than they will on sales. Only the VERY experienced breeders who produce prize winning strains are capable of making any sort of income for themselves. Any responsible breeder will be concerned as to where their sale dogs end up. They want their dogs to go to good families, which is why they line up homes and educate their buyers before any purchase. They will also usually take back any previously sold unwanted dog to ensure that it does not end up in a shelter or dumped off in some field. A true responsible breeder is also honest and is committed to creating their own strain. In all, responsible breeders should be people you can trust. People who care about the well being of their animals and are concerned only about improvement and education, not pet overpopulation. They are purveyors of the dog world. They are people who are more than happy to share their knowledge and answer any questions a person may have regarding animal husbandry.

    They travel to international shows with their dogs to compete in conformation showing. Meaning, they strive to create lines of dogs that are proportionally accurate. This ensures the health and physical ability of a dog. They compete with each other and under the scrutiny of judges to essentially find and focus on the areas of their particular breed that need improvement.

    In conclusion, this handler, I’m sure is absolutely distraught over this incident. It’s an extremely tragic event that these dogs suffered and lost their lives. However, it’s also important we don’t add to an already distressing matter with blatant accusations of abuse.

  5. david morgan

    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    there is NO EXCUSE for not having charges filed for this CRIME!!!!! This does not surprise me at all….The various DOG SHOWS I have attended have often proved to me that PURE BREED DOGS are abused often unseen because the general public does not see the attitude and lack of true love and respect that many Human Competitors have towards their precious “commodity” dogs!!!! The thrill comes from the WINNING OF TROPHIES and not the unconditional love and devotion their innocent and voiceless “money making” dogs have given their “caretakers” who, being many, are only out for the glory and trophy cash from a dog show… as for the lady who “murdered” these poor dogs…pretty stupid to trust an unguarded van while you think of your personal needs… and stupid that any dog lover who is truly concerned about their babies would ever want the babies to travel in such a manner of transportation. Would you do that to your “two legged” children..How would they see outside and enjoy a trip to the show…Oh ..I forgot!…the show is not for the dogs to enjoy, but for the “caretakers” to make a profit… No one human can have ownership for an animal of God’s!!! God gives us the pleasure to be a caretaker for HIS precious 4 legged babies!!!!
    David E. Morgan
    Milan, Ohio

  6. Carole

    Jul 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Oh God those poor dogs suffered. I just don’t understand why people are so uneducated when it comes to dogs and babies leaving them in hot cars. RIP sweet doggies.

  7. Joan

    Jul 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Charges should be filed!! Personal issues that she had should not of been in focus. Only the animals, esp. when is was sooooo hot outside. Anything could happen. Very ill equipped person to handle animals.

    • BellaDonna

      Jul 25, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Stupid bitch. Put her ass in jail. Crying thinking about how those precious furbabies suffered

  8. Sybil Graham

    Jul 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    She should be charged with animal cruelty and negligence per dog and should be legally forbidden from owning or showing any dogs. This is sickening, and where are the AKC’s comments?

  9. Janet

    Jul 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    That handler should have napped iside the truck WITH the dogs…she should be charged. Thank you for publishing her name….hope the owners go after her….she was charged with their care..I don.t want to imagine the horrors of impending torturous death happening to those poor dogs.

  10. Leslie Wood

    Jul 25, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    This is such a tragedy for the dogs and their owners. My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to them. When my male Bullmastiff was being campaigned in the late 90’s,my handlers ( from the Houston area ) would not go on the road with the dogs in the extreme heat of the summers down here, unless the show was very close to home, for just this reason. I was always grateful for their concern.
    Please, everyone, don’t go on a rip about this horribly tragic incident. This woman could not anticipate a breaker malfunction and it is only bad timing that she was not at the truck. Most of the handlers I knew were very reliable and deeply attached to the dogs in their care, putting in untold hours caring for them not including getting ready to show. Anyone who thinks showing dogs is easy has never spent the day with a handler. And don’t go on about the poor dogs being forced to show. If a dog doesn’t want to, therr is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, that will make them do it. By the same token a dog that is being shown wants to do it.
    Thank you for considering what I have said hete.

    • david morgan

      Jul 25, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      I do not agree with you concerning this issue….the lady should be prosecuted and let it be a lesson for many “dog show” fanatics who have the wrong attitude about what really makes a delightful dog show!!!!
      David E. Morgan

  11. Rhonda

    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:51 am

    I don’t think these dog handlers should be allowed to transport these dogs in this type of vehicle, let alone leave them unattended. What happens if the truck breaks down? There is no way for these poor dogs to get any air and to think that they are trapped in cages in the dark! All so people can brag that their dog is a show dog or a show champion. If this is how these dogs are treated for shows, then the shows should be stopped.

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