Dead puppy's owner facing felony charges

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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One woman is facing animal cruelty charges while her puppy, Gizmo, died from overheating after she spent time shopping. Gizmo’s owner, TiAndra Davis, 21, of Rancho Cordova, was arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals on Thursday and booked into Sacramento County Jail. At about 5 p.m. July 20, the Folsom Police Department responded to a report of a dog locked inside a parked black Honda in the parking lot of Folsom Winco at 200 Blue Ravine Road, said Folsom Police Department Officer Sharon Blackburn. Officers arrived to find a 6-month-old Pomeranian/Shih Tzu puppy, later identified as Gizmo, lying on the rear floorboard panting heavily. The slightly opened windows down 2 inches were not enough circulation to combat the 93 degree temperature recorded when officers arrived, Blackburn said. Davis had not left any water for Gizmo to hydrate, Blackburn said. It’s estimated that Gizmo was left in the vehicle for a minimum of one-and-a-half as long as two-and-a-half hours. Due to Gizmo’s deteriorating condition, officers transported him to Blue Ravine Pet Hospital for emergency treatment. Gizmo died during the night, Blackburn said. Cindy Walden, Folsom animal services officer, said this is a common occurrence in the hot summer months. “Once the temperatures start rising, it is very common for me to receive calls for animals left in overheated cars,” Walden said. “People just don’t understand the dangers that they are exposing their pets to and how quickly it gets hot in a vehicle.” Walden said she has had as many as three calls in one day for animals left in overheated vehicles. “Dogs don’t have the ability to roll a window down, so if an owner cracks the window, it does not allow for adequate ventilation,” she said. “As a human, if I was in a vehicle that was too hot, I would roll the window down or get out, but animals are trapped in there.” She said internal overheating has irreversible consequences to an animal. “Overall, once the animal’s body overheats, then the internal organs start deteriorating from the inside out and it’s irreversible,” Walden said. The Folsom Police Department and City of Folsom Animal Services would like to remind pet owners of the dangerous temperatures inside a vehicle. “Even if you park in the shade, with your windows cracked, and water for your pet, the sun position and conditions change quickly,” the city press release states. “On days that the outside temperature is 86 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise up to 154 degrees within the first 15 to 20 minutes.” For more information on animal safety in Folsom, call (916) 439-2268 or your local animal shelter.