A dog died after a man from Savannah left his cocker spaniel in the back of a moving truck for an hour.
Jerry Mason, 50, was arrested after police received a complaint about the dog being in the back of a U-Haul truck on East Main Street in Cartersville Monday morning.
When police arrived, they said the dog was lying in the parking lot in apparent physical distress next to the moving truck and a concerned citizen was pouring water on the dog to help cool it down.
Mason told police that the dog had been riding with him in the cab of the truck, but was becoming unruly.
Just east of Atlanta, Mason, who was traveling from Savannah to Kentucky, stopped and put the dog into the box portion of the truck which was completely packed with moving boxes, loose furniture, a lawnmower and other items, according to police.
Mason told police that he did not think an hour was a long period of time to keep the dog in the back of the truck.
"We cannot stress enough the importance of not keeping animals locked in vehicles where there is no circulation," said Cartersville Police Chief Thomas Culpepper. "Animals simply cannot tolerate the amount of heat that an enclosed area generates in this summer weather. An animal can be in distress within minutes due to the high temperatures we have been experiencing."
Cartersville animal control took the dog to a nearby veterinarian for treatment of possible heat stroke. The dog died overnight.
Mason was arrested and transported to the Bartow County Jail and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.
According the Cartersville police department, Mason's charges would not be upgraded following the dog's death because officers found no sign of malicious intent.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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