TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Animal control officers used a thermometer to read the temperature inside a dog’s cage. It came in at a whopping 131.1 degrees.
The dog, named Damoo, died.
“So, we took a reading on the dog and we found its temperature was over 115 degrees because that’s as high as our meters go,” said Roger Mills, director of Hillsborough County Animal Services.
Owner Ronell Nedd, Jr., went to jail for aggravated cruelty to animals and unlawful confinement of animals, records show.
“This boy – no, no, no! No abuse! No, no,” said Nedd’s mother, Francis Smith.
8 On Your Side stopped by his home on East 8th Avenue. Nedd was too upset to talk on camera, calling the dog’s death an accident.
The family believes some workers at the home put the dog outside then called police.
His mom says her son isn’t an animal abuser.
“He cleaned them. He fed them. He watered them. He cared for these dogs,” she said.
Two other dogs, Fiona and Texas, were found in a room where the temperature rose to 126 degrees, Mills said. Those dogs were seized by officers.
“You cannot leave animals in the sunlight in this type of heat, or areas where there’s no circulation or fresh water,” Mills said.
It’s certainly a lesson for anyone who owns a dog, now that the excruciating Florida summer is in full swing.
“I think it was an accident,” Smith said. “That’s all it was. And accidents happen to everybody. We are devastated that Damoo died. Everybody loved him,” she said.
According to a report written after the arrest by a Tampa Police Department officer, Nedd’s name came up in animal control history. It said he has “been told they are unable to own animals due to past animal citations.”