A 34-year-old Jim Thorpe mom has been charged with cruelty to animals after letting her dog die inside her locked car.
At 4:16 p.m. Aug. 9, Mahoning Township police were dispatched to the Carbon Plaza Mall parking lot for a report of a deceased dog inside a car.
They found the dead dog on the back seat floor of a Ford Freestyle.
Police said Kelly Brinker left the 5-year-old greyhound locked inside the vehicle with insufficient ventilation while she went to Holiday Hair inside the mall with her two children.
During an interview, she admitted to police that she was inside the mall for an hour and 45 minutes. At the time the temperature outside her car was between 75 and 82 degrees.
Police found a large amount of saliva from the dog around the interior of the vehicle.
A necropsy showed the dog died of heat stroke. At the necropsy, which was performed five hours later, the dog's body temperature was 104 degrees. As a result, Kelly has been charged with cruelty to animals.
Experts report temperatures inside cars can rise to 120 degrees in just minutes, even when the outside temperature is only 78. They also warn leaving car windows open a crack does not protect dogs from a rapid climb in interior heat that can kill them. They say parking in the shade also does not prevent such lethal build-ups of heat.