Indian River Co. animal activist arrested after trying to save d - WFLA News Channel 8

Indian River Co. animal activist arrested after trying to save dog from heat

Posted: Updated:
Van DeMars Van DeMars
Davey Davey

Indian River County SPCA president was arrested on charges of petit theft after he said he tried to save a dog left alone in intense heat, WPTV reported.

Van DeMars was at a parking lot when he saw a dog chained to the car. The temperatures were in the 90s. The dog was panting, almost choking itself trying to get under the truck, according to WPTV.

"He's panting," DeMars told WPTV about the dog. "This is what happens when they first start to get into heat stress."

DeMars recorded a cell phone video of the dog. After waiting for a while for the owner to show up, he decided to free the dog, take it into shade and call authorities.

The dog's owner, Robert Huffman, 83, of Seffner, came before the police did, WPTV reported. He said he was at a store for about 30 minutes and had done this with his 14-year-old male dog Davey many times.

According to the WPTV story, investigators said Huffman had a water bowl for the dog and it was on a 15-foot leash. Huffman was not happy DeMars had untied Davie.

Indian River County deputies arrested DeMars a few days later and charged him with petit theft, WPTV reported. Investigators said, DeMars didn't return Davey to Huffman right away.

DeMars didn't regret freeing the dog, he told WPTV. He will appear in court later this months, according to WPTV.

Huffman said the dog was in good condition. He didn't agree to appear on camera for WPTV.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Lt. Gov. says Scott has 'huge heart'

    Lt. Gov. says Scott has 'huge heart'

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:17:52 GMT
    Now campaigning to keep the job he started a little more than six months ago, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera says he doesn’t feel pressure to deliver Florida's Hispanic vote in the upcoming election.
    Now campaigning to keep the job he started a little more than six months ago, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera says he doesn’t feel pressure to deliver Florida's Hispanic vote in the upcoming election.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:38:43 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
  • Cell phone selfie thief arrested in Lakeland

    Cell phone selfie thief arrested in Lakeland

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:28 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:28:34 GMT
    Cell phone app takes selfie of woman who allegedly stole phone.Cell phone app takes selfie of woman who allegedly stole phone.
    A Lakeland woman is trying to find her stolen phone and has a very strong lead, thanks to an app a friend recently downloaded for her.Cathy Carter was in the doctor's office July 17th and went back to her car to find her phone, a Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, missing.
    A Lakeland woman is trying to find her stolen phone and has a very strong lead, thanks to an app a friend recently downloaded for her.Cathy Carter was in the doctor's office July 17th and went back to her car to find her phone, a Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, missing.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:56:27 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Photo of cat at gunpoint on Facebook sparks investigation

    Photo of cat at gunpoint on Facebook sparks investigation

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:00:28 GMT
    Animal Control officers are investigating a post that sparked outrage on Facebook - it was a picture of a man holding a cat by its scruff and pointing a gun at it, NBC-2 reported.
    Animal Control officers are investigating a post that sparked outrage on Facebook - it was a picture of a man holding a cat by its scruff and pointing a gun at it, NBC-2 reported.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.