A 64 YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for leaving his dog locked in a car in Andalucia, resulting in the animal’s death by heat stroke.
Temperatures had surpassed 40C when the tragedy occurred in Cazorla, Jaen, on July 7, 2022.
The man had been drinking, and his ignorance was blamed on his drunkenness, the Europa Press reported.
Prosecutors stated in the ruling the man left his 25kg dog in his car at midday, parked under direct sunlight without water or airflow during the hottest hours of the day.
That evening the intoxicated man fell while walking and injured his shoulder, requiring police and medical assistance.
During his interaction with police he mentioned his dog and expressed concern for the animal’s health.
But by the time the police arrived at the vehicle, the dog was dead.
According to the Europa Press, the veterinarian’s certificate gave the cause of death as heat stroke.
The accused, who the press have not named, has been charged with the death of a domestic animal.
Prosecutors initially sought a year-long sentence, but reduced it to six months in accordance with Spain’s atenuante de embriaguez, or “mitigation of intoxication” statute, which requires judges to consider the responsibility of individuals accused of crimes committed under the influence of alcohol.
As part of his plea deal, the man cannot appeal the sentence, meaning the judgement is final.
Dogs, unlike humans, lack an adequate bodily cooling system, meaning they’re more susceptible to extreme heat.
And in canine heat stroke, mortality rates are high.
Some 57% of dogs brought to emergency veterinarians for heat stroke end up dying, according to a study from the University of Nottingham.
Other studies have shown that puppies, older dogs, and certain breeds, like Chow Chows and Bulldogs, are at a higher risk of succumbing to heatstroke.