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A Georgia man is being charged with animal cruelty after his dog died of heat exhaustion on Monday.
Jerry Mason, 50, of Georgia, was driving a moving truck packed with boxes, furniture, and other household items from Savannah to Kentucky, with his Cocker Spaniel mix in the cab along with him. But, when he was arrested in Cartersville, Georgia, the dog was suffering from severe heat exhaustion after being forced to ride in the back of the truck for at least an hour.
Channel 2 Action News reported that police spotted the U-Haul on the side of the road, with a concerned citizen pouring water over the dog to cool him off. Mason told police that his dog had become unruly in the cab, so he pulled over and moved him to the back with the furniture and boxes. The dog was taken to a veterinarian for emergency treatment, but did not survive.
Cartersville Police Chief Thomas Culpepper said in a news release, “We cannot stress enough the importance of not keeping animals locked in vehicles where there is no circulation. Animals simply cannot tolerate the amount of heat that an enclosed area generates in this summer weather. An animal can be in distress within minutes due to the high temperatures we have been experiencing.”
Mason was arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty on Monday, but bonded out of jail Tuesday morning.