Dog dies in vehicle, owner shares his side of story - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Dog dies in vehicle, owner shares his side of story


Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) --

The summer-like heat has already brought tragedy. A rottweiler was left inside a vehicle Saturday afternoon and died of heat exhaustion. The owner said he loved the dog and never intended something like this to happen.

"What a nice dog. It really was a nice dog."

Shocking news to residents and shop owners on a small Rochester street. A well-known rottweiler is now dead, killed by heat exhaustion when she was left inside a Chevy Blazer Saturday afternoon with windows closed tight, in almost 80 degree weather.

"I loved that dog. My son loved that dog. I would never do anything to hurt her. I miss her so bad right now, I could just, I could cry."

Dog owner Kirk Rucker says the dog loved the car and would sometimes need treats to entice the dog to leave. He says he doesn't believe the dog died of heat exhaustion because he's been doing the same thing for 6 years.

"It wasn't that hot that day. It was only 79, 80 degrees. I mean, she was alright. The top window was cracked. She was fine."

Police say an officer arrived on scene Saturday afternoon and saw the rottweiler visibly distressed and panting heavily.

"Death by heat stroke is not a pretty way to go."

Veterinarian Eve Richer says when dogs overheat they can start to bleed internally and have seizures. She says the temperature inside a car can reach 40 degrees higher than the temperature outside.

"As soon as we get above about 70 outside, it's actually very dangerous to have a dog in a car even with the windows open," says Richer.

Which means, now that the summer heat has arrived, pets should never be left unattended inside a vehicle.

Rucker will face a felony mistreatment of an animal charge. He says he plans to sell his Chevy Blazer and donate the profits to a local animal shelter.

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