A 2-two-year-old American Bulldog died from heat stroke Tuesday and the man who was taking care of him is facing animal cruelty charges.
plan to file the charges against Patrick Ryan II, 29, who was caring for his brother's dog when it died.
Police were called to a home after Ryan was seen placing the dog inside a parked car.
“We had gotten a call from at 1498 Center Avenue, telling us that the dog was in very bad shape,” said Kathy Hecker, Animal Friends humane officer.
Jesse Sprague told WTAE-TV’s Bob Mayo that he was horrified when he saw the dog, the same breed as his own, clearly overcome by the heat. Sprague told WTAE the owner asked for help outside of Arnold’s Market.
“I come out and look and the thing was dying. I mean, right here. You could tell it was fighting for its life,” Sprague told WTAE.
Sprague said he gave the dog water, while others called 911.
“I poured water all over it to try to cool it down, but you could tell it was dying,” said Sprague.
Sprague said he initially thought a car hit the dog because it was bleeding and its paws looked like they were “shredded.”
"It may have been that his back legs shut down first and he was being dragged,” said Hecker.
Hecker said the owner then dragged the dog, which weighed 80 pounds, from outside the market another 2-1/2 blocks to his home on Stanford Street and placed it inside a car parked outside.
“By the time police arrived, the dog was dead,” said Hecker. “American Bulldogs are very sensitive to the heat, it should never have been outside on a day like that.”
“Dogs need constant hydration, just as people do, but they also can't take direct sunlight. What feels to us like 90 degrees might feel like 150 to them,” said Hecker.
Hecker also advised that dogs should never be walked on the street, or on a concrete sidewalk in extremely hot weather.
"At the shelter, we always walk the dogs in the woods," she said.
West View Police Lt. Matt Holland said Ryan was "devastated" by what happened.
"We don't think it was malicious, but rather that the man didn't realize the effect that type of heat was having on the animal," he said. "It was an accident."
Hecker said Ryan could face fines ranging from $50 to $750, up to 30 days in jail, and could be prohibited from owning another animal for a period of time determined by a judge.
This story was originally posted on North Hills Patch.