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Woman Given Probation After 2 Dogs Die, 3rd Injured in Hot Car Outside Casino

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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.

Hot Car

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.”

Was Langford’s sentence adequate? Weigh in with a comment below.

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  1. Avatar Of Rox



    I guess if your dumb enough to gamble for 10 hours, your dumb enough to leave your dogs to die in a hot car.

  2. Gambling? Wow – she most certainly should have done jail time OUTSIDE IN the beaming down heat from the sun to show her how it felt for her dogs to suffer through this. People – I just do not understand. How about some gambling addiction therapy…

  3. Avatar Of Deb



    She absolutely should have done jail time and the judge who gave that disputable sentence will hopefully one day know how it feels to lose something he loves.

  4. Avatar Of Dianne Miller

    Dianne Miller


    She should serve jail time then have to volunteer at a shelter for a year or 1000 hours. This was cruel and inhumane treatment
    of her dogs and she should be held more accountable than probation. Those poor dogs.

  5. Avatar Of Judi Bommarito

    Judi Bommarito


    Absolutely NOT!!! This will continue until people are held accountable with stiffer punishments for torturing their pets to death. Totally 100% avoidable. This was no “accident” as the murderer stated.

  6. Avatar Of Nancy D'Amico

    Nancy D'Amico


    She is calling it an accident…..wrong on many roads. This would be pre meditated…….knowing she had a problem and would not come out for hours. She needs to be punished really!!

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