BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Two dogs and a puppy are dead from heat stroke after being locked in a car at a Birmingham gas station Tuesday, according to the Greater Birmingham, Humane Society (GBHS).
A GBHS after-hours animal control officer responded to a call from the Birmingham Police Department (BPD) requesting assistance in rescuing the three dogs. The dogs were locked in a hot car at a gas station near Bush Boulevard.
The GBHS said in a Facebook post that BPD broke a window to rescue the dogs. Inside, they found one dog dead and an adult dog and puppy in “severe heat distress.” BPD officers worked to cool the dogs off with ice and water from a hose at the gas station.
When GBHS arrived, a BPD officer was sitting with the puppy working to cool it off. The GBHS animal control officer rushed the rescued dogs to Steel City Emergency Clinic, where the dogs received treatment throughout the night.
Despite rescue efforts, on Wednesday morning GBHS confirmed none of the dogs survived.
“We do hope charges are pressed,” said Allison Black Cornelius, Chief Executive Officer of GBHS, during a Facebook live Wednesday morning. “These are innocent creatures and we’re all they’ve got.”
Cornelius strongly cautioned pet owners against taking their pets with them places during this time of extreme heat.
“GBHS is so grateful for Birmingham police officers’ quick response and life-saving measures,” Cornelius said in a statement. “These two dogs were crying and whimpering in pain all the way to the hospital. Our officers see the worst of what people do to innocent animals.
“Leaving dogs in a car in record heat is a horrible death sentence for the animal. The suffering is unimaginable. We are asking the public for any information they may have about this incident, and I ask the community to pray for the first responders who have to see this every day.”
Cornelius thanked BPD officers, as well as every citizen’s donation, which she said allows them to continue to rescue these dogs and get them the medical care they need.
GBHS offers a $10,000 reward to anyone that provides information leading to an arrest and conviction for animal cruelty. All tips are confidential.
The BPD has opened an investigation, and anyone with any information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777. If you see animal cruelty, you can also call 205-591-6522 and an animal cruelty officer will be dispatched to the scene, Cornelius said.