BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Two people are facing animal cruelty charges after deputies say they left a 10-week-old puppy alone in a hot car.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Sunday, a resident saw a puppy left in a vehicle with the windows up that wasn’t running in the parking lot of the Melbourne Square Mall.
An animal enforcement officer arrived at the scene at around 2:30 p.m., finding the puppy crying in pain while it was in vehicle. Ivey said the puppy was “near death,” but the officer got the puppy out and took it into his air-conditioned truck to cool it down.,
Ivey said that the temperature inside the vehicle was over 100 degrees.
According to Ivey, the vehicle’s owners — Brandon McLaren, 32, and Mecaila Johnson, 19 — returned 30 minutes later after deputies arrived. The sheriff said the pair admitted to leaving the puppy in the car while they walked in the mall.
“Now trust me when I tell ya that if I had not been in Daytona at the time this incident occurred, I would have personally walked their sorry butts right into our jail and slammed the door in their face as I’ve done for others who’ve committed acts of animal cruelty,” Ivey said.
The pair now face charges for aggravated animal cruelty. The puppy, however, is expected to survive.
“Simply put, because of great teamwork and partnership with our citizens, the puppy is expected to make a full recovery,” he said. “It’s currently under the care of our veterinarians in our animal care center.”