Dogs & Laws

5 Dogs Left in a Hot Car Die in Walmart Parking Lot

dothandogsFive more beautiful four-legged babies are dead after their owner left the pack trapped in a hot car during a shopping trip to the Dothan, Alabama Walmart store on Tuesday evening.

Dothan First reported that four of the dogs died in the car while the fifth had to be euthanized by a veterinarian after suffering irreparable injuries due to heat exhaustion.

No one has been charged in the dogs’ deaths as police investigate the incident. The dogs’ owner claims to have left the vehicle running and the air conditioner on for the dogs. But, she says one of the dogs bumped into the controls and accidentally turned the vehicle’s heater on. Dothan Police have not confirmed the owner’s story.

Reporters were told by witnesses that concerned customers busted out the car’s window in an attempt to save the dogs, but reached them too late.

The weather outside was approximately 80-degrees at the time of the dogs’ deaths.

Because dogs do not sweat, aside from a small amount through their paw pads, they depend on breathing and panting to exchange warm air for cool air. When the air temperature is as warm or warmer than their body temperature – such as inside a vehicle parked in the sun – they are unable to cool themselves and can very quickly enter heat stroke.

Heat stroke is an emergency and, when left untreated, is an excruciatingly painful way for a dog to perish. During severe heat stroke, dogs will pant heavily, have difficulty breathing, and begin to vomit. They will often pass loose, bloody stools before collapsing and having seizures. Eventually the dog will enter a coma and die. Many times, even if a dog is rescued before death, permanent damage to the heart, kidneys, or brain is possible.

Although the temperature outside may be nice, it only takes a few minutes for a car parked in the sun, even with the windows opened, to become an oven to a dog.

Please, remind friends and family to not leave dogs in parked cars, even when the weather is nice, even for only a few minutes.

If you cannot take the dog inside with you, leave them at home.



  1. Nesher E.

    Jun 9, 2015 at 4:12 am

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  2. Viochita Fea

    Jun 3, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Must have been a cute white girl who did this. I guarantee if it was a black man he’d be arrested for the very real crime of animal cruelty. Arrest this girl!!!!

  3. Barbara Dougherty

    Jun 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    How in the world can someone be so stupid as to take five dogs on a shopping trip and leave them in a car!! Why don’t they use their brains that God gave them.
    They would have been better off at home where you know it is cool without running a car for an hour and putting gases into the air. This is not right either.
    Why in hell , is beyond me, now your best friends who trusted you are gone.
    And it is the owners fault. Jail her.

  4. Regina Arch

    Jun 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    If the police do no arrest the owner of these dogs, shame on them. This happens over and over and over again. Until there is a charge and jail time put on this crime of animal abuse, it will continue to happen.
    There should be a HUGE fine, and a good amount of jail time.
    It should be against the law to have your animals in a ca while you are out shopping, or running around . When are people going to treat animals as living beings that have rights too????? Freakin idiot!!!

  5. Donna Cox

    Jun 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    even if you park in the shade and crack a window the dogs would still get to hot ,they have all that fur it’s like wearing a fur coat in an oven .leave them at home

  6. Carmela DonVito

    Jun 1, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    One thing to also consider, with 5 dogs closed up in this car, the quicker the temperature inside rises….Like being in a room with several people everyone’s body heats up faster….Unbelievable, people although told, they STILL do this…Shame on this woman for doing this to her dogs. I hope this city has strict laws and they will prosecute her. RIP Pups <3

  7. D. Weiler

    Jun 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    The dogs’ owner should be punished for letting her dogs be in the car on a hot day! Most people know better than to do this!!!! Maybe she’ll learn not to do this, I hope!!!

  8. Adrienne Camfield

    Jun 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I would park in the shade and crack a window. I don’t like to leave my dogs alone anyway. All 5 dogs, awfully weird. How long was she gone? It seems too strange that all 5 died. Could someone have sprayed something at them? All 5, you know.Too strange.

    • Jen

      Jun 1, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      Even with a window cracked in the shade it can still get way too hot inside a vehicle. Why is it strange that all 5 dogs died? They were practically in a furnace . If it is 80 degrees outside then it gets to be over 100 degrees inside vehicle in a very short amount of time. Sorry for the dogs, they suffered greatly.

    • Denise Bligh

      Jun 2, 2015 at 1:15 am

      Even in the shade with the windows open your dog can die. Don’t EVER leave them in a car.

    • ruth glasberg

      Jun 2, 2015 at 8:55 am

      not if you leave them in a car in 80 degree heat I dare you t sit in a car without the air conditioning and window cracked pen and time how long you can stand it for
      and see how you feel

    • Jeanne Doyle

      Jun 2, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Please, parking in the shade and cracking a window DOES NOT help at all!! Please, if its over 70, leave your animals at home, they’re trusting you to take care of them.

    • dog advocate

      Jun 3, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      you can kill your dogs, if you leave them in a car with cracked windows, even in the shade, when the weather is hot …. get an outdoor thermometer for the inside of your car, sit in the window cracked car and SEE how FAST the heat rises !!!!
      EVERYONE who owns dogs SHOULD have a LARGE TEMP GAUGE in their car to remind them how HOT IT IS IN THERE!!

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