A Michigan woman will only serve probation after leaving her three dogs trapped in a hot car for more than 10 hours while she gambled inside casino.
Two of the woman’s dogs died horrific deaths as a result of the 10 hours of torture, a third survived but was in dire need of medical treatment for heat exhaustion and dehydration by the time they were found.
Each year, thousands of dogs face suffering and torture locked inside hot cars and despite repeated warnings, pet owners continue to leave their animals trapped to face an agonizing death. Why? Perhaps because their abusers are given little more than the proverbial slap on the wrist for their actions.
On April 7, Sherill Langford of Flint, Michigan parked her truck at the Four Winds Casino in Dowagiac with her three dogs locked inside. It was approximately 8:00am when casino surveillance cameras captured her entering the front door.
Langford did not leave the casino again until ten hours later, at 6:00pm, when police contacted her about the dogs left in her truck after a bystander discovered them in the parking lot. By then, two had died and a third was in critical condition. Langford told police that she’d left a window cracked open and had periodically left the casino to check on the dogs. Surveillance footage proved she was lying.
She had not once visited her dogs in the parking lot, inside the truck, with no shade, no water, no food, and no bathroom breaks for more than ten hours.
“No doubt it was a torture session for the animals,” Cass County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle said in court on Friday. “They had no water, food or bathroom breaks for those hours. Two of them died an agonizing and horrible death. This is a terrible thing that occurred. Her gambling addiction led to the death of two animals. She needs help with her gambling but she also needs to be punished.”
Although she was charged with three felony counts of animal abuse, Langford was sentenced to only 2-years probation and 90-days of jail to be served at home via electronic monitoring along with fines and community service. Once she serves her probation period, the felony convictions will be abandoned and reduced to two misdemeanor counts of cruelty/abandonment of animals causing death.
Langford said she felt “horrible and stupid and embarrassed” and called the incident a “horrible accident.”
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