Tampa man arrested on animal cruelty charges after dog dies from overheating

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A Tampa man was arrested and charged for leaving his three dogs in extreme heat, and one of them died from heat stroke.

Hillsborough County Animal Control workers responded to the house in the 2600 block of 8th Avenue in Tampa last week and immediately knew the dogs' lives were in danger. It was already midday Friday, and the crates holding the dogs were in the triple digits.

Workers said the dog that died was in a crate outside and likely died just hours before because it was in direct sunlight with no water. The crate where the dog was kept registered at 131 degrees.

"Our temperature devices that we use to check the temperature of the dog go up to 150, and the temperature on the dog was above that," said Roger Mills, the Hillsborough County Animal Control director.

Two more dogs were in the home's laundry area, and animal control workers said the temperature in that area was at 126 degrees.

"We chose that time to rescue the dogs. We get the dogs out, and we find that there for no water or anything for them," Mills said.

Tampa police arrested the owner, 34-year-old Ronell Nedd, on felony charges for animal cruelty and improper confinement.

"If we had not recovered those dogs, they would not have survived," Mills said.

With dogs at risk for heat stroke like the one that died, veterinarians are reminding people to take care of their pets.

"Overheating can take over minutes, and heat stroke can take place in less than an hour," said veterinarian Mallory Offner, who examined the dog that died.

There are signs to watch for, veterinarians said.

"An overheated dog will be panting heavily. Sometimes their gum color will be very bright red, sometime they'll be drooling. They might even vomit or collapse," said Offner.

If your pet vomits or collapses, they need immediate veterinary care, she said.

Your pets just can't survive in the heat without your help.

"Always make sure you're not locking your pet in a car, even if it's for a few minutes," said Offner. "Make sure your pet in the backyard has access to plenty of shade and water, and put them in the air conditioning when you can."

If you see any animals out in the heat for a long time without any access to water or ventilated air and shade, you should call animal control.