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Three Dogs Die After Being Locked in Hot Vehicle, 4th Survives

By Ellis Codjoe, July 11, 2017

(File Photo) The Ottumwa Police Department is investigating four dogs found locked in a hot car on Saturday.

Officers were notified Sunday of the incident that occurred Saturday Afternoon in the 100 block of Church Street near Bridge View Center.

Four dogs were found locked in a vehicle and suffering from heat exposure. Two of the dogs were already deceased when the reporting party found the dogs on Saturday.

A third dog later passed away at a local veterinarian; the fourth dog survived its ordeal.

Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew says the investigation is ongoing and may take some time to complete. “That’s because we started the investigation late, we weren’t notified until a day later so that’s really complicated things,” McAndrew told Ottumwa Radio news.

McAndrew says that while no charges have been filed at this time, officers do know who was responsible for the animals. The dogs were reportedly in the care of a handler and not their owner at the time of the incident, according to the Ottumwa Courier. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has suspended all of the handler’s privileges while the incident is being investigated.

Ottumwa Police are investigating if a mechanical failure in the vehicle caused the tragedy. Show-dog owners often have custom vehicles with specific air conditioned compartments for the animals. McAndrew says “we are investigating that as a possibility.”

The incident occurred during the annual AKC All Breeds Dog Show at Bridge View Center. McAndrew confirmed that the animals were in Ottumwa for the dog show. He added that many of the witnesses and parties involved are from outside of Ottumwa, which has also complicated the investigation.

It’s not currently known who found the animals on Saturday, or who reported the incident to police on Sunday.

McAndrew says the investigation is ongoing and asks anyone who might have information on the incident to contact Ottumwa Police Officer Jeff Williams by calling 641-683-0661.

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