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Woman Arrested When Dog Dies in Hot Car Complains That She’s Too Hot in Back of the Squad Car

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When an Orlando, Florida woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges after leaving her dog locked inside a crate in her car while she ran errands, she was placed in the backseat of a squad car, with the air conditioner on full blast, the rear windows completely rolled down.

That’s when 28-year old Jose Thomas, had the nerve to complain to the arresting officer that she was too hot in the backseat.

Just moments before her arrest, police arrived at Thomas’ vehicle to find her dog, Lily, unconscious on the sidewalk after a concerned bystander smashed a window and pulled the dog out of the car.

Lily had been left inside a crate on the backseat of Thomas’ vehicle for an undetermined length of time while Thomas ran errands.

Although police rushed Lily to an emergency veterinarian, the trauma to her body was too great and she had to be euthanized. Orlando Police Department Capt. Sue Brown paid for Lily’s care.

Thomas was arrested on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and booked into the Orange County Jail. Police don’t believe Thomas intended to hurt her dog.

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  1. My heart is broke reading story of Lily. People need prison time when they abuse & murder animals! I’m so tired of the evil in this world! Precious, Lily You are in the arms of Jesus now. Run with all the animals over the rainbow bridge! I love you precious Lily!

  2. Avatar Of Wendy Mcclelland

    Wendy McClelland


    My heart is so broken reading story on precious Lily. I don’t even know what to say because I’m so angry at the evil people in this world that abuse animals! I think people need to be punished (prison time) for the evil things that are done to animals. This is a reason why I’m not afraid of dying when it’s my time. This world is full of evil people! Precious Lily, I love you & you are in the arms of Jesus now. Run & be with all God’s creation on the rainbow bridge! With all my love to you, Lily & all the animals in Heaven!!

  3. Avatar Of Beverly



    What a stupid, heartless idiot of a woman! She murdered her dog! I wonder if she’s married and I wonder if she has children. If she does, how is she going to explain how their dog died? Of course, she won’t be able to lie, as the court will have all the grisly details. That poor dog! How frightened she was and how she suffered before she died. I hope this woman carries this with her for the rest of her life. I hope her husband and children always remember, too. She should never get another dog again, as she can’t be trusted. I hope she gets jail time, plus a big fine. Rest in Peace, sweet little Lily….fly high with the angels over The Rainbow Bridge.

  4. Avatar Of Belladonna



    The only thing that keeps me from having a meltdown when I hear about precious dogs being kept in hot cars, is that the precious dogs are at The Rainbow Bridge and that God will take care of those that abuse animals.

  5. Avatar Of Joan Reynolds

    Joan Reynolds


    That poor dog did not have a chance. There is no reason to take your dog with you if you are going to do errands or such. Common sense is a huge factor. I like to suggest that before anyone buys a dog, or adopts a dog, they should have to pass an exam to know how to keep a dog safe, or that that any animal.

    It’s 11 a.m., 75 degrees.

    In the Safeway parking lot, two hairy dogs are panting and pacing in a car with windows cracked about 5 inches. They’re hot and unhappy, but not yet in distress, I think. I wait a couple of minutes, then call the humane society. I share the facts, including that one dog has just crammed itself under the steering wheel, evidently to get out of the blazing sunlight.

    They believe the dogs will be OK until help can arrive — five minutes.

    Animal-control guy rolls up in four, eyeballs the situation and decides to give the owner a few more minutes to emerge.

    Owner blusters up just under the deadline, annoyed that people surround his car. Doors are flung open, water offered. Owner receives a stern lecture.

    I hope it made an impact. Too many locked-in-cars dogs die horrible deaths every summer, their brains, their organs literally heated into mush.

    I have to assume that most owners who take dogs in vehicles love those animals. And that until the awful moment of returning to a stifling car and discovering the tragic aftermath of a bad choice, they just didn’t fully understand (despite warnings from vets and humane organizations) how fast things go really bad.

    So maybe this will help: a graphic description of exactly what occurs when a dog (and it’s almost always dogs, since few people take cats for rides) is closed in a hot car.

    Plano, Texas, veterinarian Shawn Messonnier, who knows something about hideous heat and animals and who has written several books, including Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets, out next month, agreed to be brutally descriptive about the process and physiology of heat stroke.

    First, he says, it’s important to understand that the temperature doesn’t have to be in the 90s for a car-bound animal to be in deep trouble. At much lower temperatures, particularly if the sky is cloudless, the humidity high or the car dark-colored, a vehicle becomes a sauna fast. And cracking windows a few inches accomplishes practically nothing (though many owners of now-dead pets thought it would).

    In fact, researchers learned that when it’s a sunny 78 degrees, the temperature in a parked car with windows cracked rises at least 32 degrees in 30 minutes. So: 78 degrees to 110 in half an hour.

    “A matter of minutes, five or 10 minutes” is all it takes on a hot day for a dog to wind up organ-damaged or dead, Messonnier says.

    Here’s how it progresses: First, the dog pants hard, trying the only way it can to cool off. As the temperature rises and the dog realizes it’s in trouble, it becomes frantic, tries to get out, scratching at windows or digging at the seat or floor. It’s an awful moment, the dog’s moment of realization. “If you want to compare it to humans,” says Messonnier, “it would be this: The person is too hot, stifling, feeling trapped. But a person knows things can be done,” like smashing a window or blowing the horn for help. Dogs, of course, panic, since they can devise no strategies other than digging desperately. They often bloody themselves in this effort to survive. Some have heart attacks.

    The panic doesn’t last long. Very quickly the dog goes prostrate, begins vomiting, having diarrhea and lapsing into unconsciousness. Organs are disintegrating. “All organs function properly within a certain temperature range, and when body temperature reaches a certain level, organ cells begin dying. There’s inflammation, white blood cells rush in … a cascade of things happens in minutes,” he says. Liver, brain, kidneys are dying.

    “When you do an autopsy on a dog that died this way, the organs are soupy.”

    If caught quickly enough, some dogs can be saved. It’s crucial to open car windows, turn on air conditioning and race to the nearest vet, dousing the dog in cool water if possible during the trip, putting something cool under each armpit and against the groin (“but don’t waste 20 minutes trying to gather up those last things,” Messonnier says, as it’s most important to get experts involved fast).

    “If you’ve caught it early enough and you’re real lucky, there will be no permanent damage,” he says, though ascertaining that is a “waiting game” since some dogs that seem to have pulled through have liver or kidney damage that may not be obvious at first.

    It’ll likely cost “several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars” to save a dog with heatstroke.

    Not to mention the misery the animal has endured.

    The reality is those “dashes” into the market while the dog waits in the car are rarely as quick as we expect. I know of an owner who ran into the bank, tripped while walking to the counter, knocked himself out, and by the time he regained sense (not long) and got someone to check on the dog in his car, it was too late. That’s the kind of thing that could happen, really, during any dash-in visit.

    There’s also the person who left the car running with the air conditioner on to keep the dog cool. Car quit running. You can imagine the results.

    And, by the way, snub-nosed dogs such as boxers and pugs have an even higher risk of overheating because they don’t cool efficiently.

    I hate to be so grim.

    But really, if it saves a dog …

  6. Avatar Of Richard W

    Richard W


    A misdemeanor? She killed a dog and it’s a misdemeanor? Dumb bitch should be put in an oven for a few hours…

  7. Avatar Of D.r.



    She should have just left her dog at home. That way, Lily would have had fresh air, and nothing would have happened.

  8. Avatar Of Leisa Grill Leisa Grill says:

    Whether this woman “intended” to hurt the animal doesn’t affect my opinion of her. At worst she is cruel, and at best she is too stupid and self-centered to have a pet–or a child for that matter. (By the way, who thinks an air conditioner works with the windows down????) She should have to pay all of the expenses resulting from her callous act.

    • Avatar Of Helen Bednarczyk

      Helen Bednarczyk


      And she should never be permitted to have an animal of any species. And misdemeanor? Really? Come on, Florida! This is animal abuse and cruelty and the punishment should be severe.

  9. Avatar Of Anna Van Z

    Anna Van Z


    Well, what did this moron THINK would happen??!! Is there even the smallest bit of common sense in the population these days, or has that gone extinct also?? She should have been made to stay in the car WITHOUT A/C for the length of time she left her dog in the hot car to die.

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