Woman Charged After Dog Dies in Hot Car

Just leave your dog at home! Misdemeanor charges were filed against a woman whose dog perished after being left in a sealed vehicle. So sad. So preventable.

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-


Just months after the state of Vermont passed laws about what to do if you discover and animal or person in distress in a locked car, an incident occurs that brings this literal hot-button issue to the forefront.

A Colchester woman has been charged with animal cruelty after her dog, a Labrador retriever found locked in a hot car, passed away.

A call to Colchester police reported a Labrador retriever was spotted inside a car parked in a parking lot along College Parkway. The car’s windows were rolled up. The dog appeared to be in distress. Officer Jesse Treier told WCAX they had to break into the car to free the animal.

“The dog was not responsive to people around the vehicle, including me, when I was knocking on the windows,” he said.

Temperature climb quickly inside a sealed vehicle; Treier says inside that car it was 125 degrees.

The dog passed away later that day.

“They’re like their kids. I mean animals especially dogs or cats even other animals are like children. It’s very tough,” said Treier.

Treier says his police department gets a lot of calls of animals trapped in cars, but he only knows of two cases where the animal died.

Misdemeanors are often a sticking point for many people who believe more serious charges should be mandatory, and perhaps a better deterrent for people likely to repeat this behavior. At this point, many members of the dog-loving community feel that cars getting hot to the point of danger in the sun is common knowledge. (This photo is NOT the dog reported on in this story.)
Misdemeanors are often a sticking point for many people who believe more serious charges should be mandatory, and perhaps a better deterrent for people likely to repeat this behavior. At this point, many members of the dog-loving community feel that cars getting hot to the point of danger in the sun is common knowledge. (This photo is NOT the dog reported on in this story.)


Police say Stacey Barrientos of Colchester, the dog’s owner, was charged with a misdemeanor. She will be arraigned in October. Intent, police said, could have made the difference in charging her with a felony.

And earlier Tuesday, a chocolate lab was rescued, via sunroof, by nearby Shelburne Police. The owner of the vehicle was issued a ticket.

Vermont law now states that anyone who breaks into a car for the purpose of removing a child or animal shall not be liable for damages. You should still call police before, but it could mean the difference between life and death of a family pet or even a person.

16 thoughts on “Woman Charged After Dog Dies in Hot Car

  1. I believe without a doubt our laws in this country regarding animal cruelty are ENTIRELY too soft. If I were in charge or had the power to impose sentence, WHATEVER a person does to harm or neglect an animal, that EXACT thing is done to them as punishment. NO matter what!!! The animal is a helpless being that needs our care and love and cannot fend for themselves nor protect themselves unless they are living in the wild on their own and are not domesticated. If a person does harm to an animal, or causes it to suffer, that person is nothing more than an ignorant coward, and shouldn’t even have the gift of care for an animal! SHAME on all those selfish people that think of themselves first before an animal in their care that they cause harm to!

  2. pets are not decorations, choosing them means trusting you with their whole life which requires responsibility.

  3. What is wrong with people? Use a little common sense. If you must run errands or shop on a hot day, leave the pets at home! My dogs LOVE to go for rides. they love walks too. When it’s 90 degrees out with high humidity, that is NOT the time for a walk. I wait until the sun is going down to take them for a walk and they only ride with me to run errands, when it’s 60 degrees or less, and of course, the windows are left half down for them. If the inside of that car was 125 degrees, it was far too hot to have that poor dog in the car for any length of time, even if the windows were rolled down.

    1. I agree one hundred percent!!! Maybe they should consider asking Scarecrow from “Wizard of Oz” a few tips.

      1. These so called pet owners, must have shopped at their local dollar store for their brain, cheap and very little value.

  4. Someone needs to make an A/C for vehicles – like those in RV’s or the refrigerators that plug in the car.

  5. Charged with a misdemeanor only? Seriously!? Can not charge her with felony because of intent not there? Really? Intent was there…. because she had every window rolled up! Charge her with a felony!

  6. I would love to travel with my dog and am considering an RV because I have no options on the road in a car with her and she cannot go in most places with me. I would have to leave her in the car to even go to the bathroom and I get so scared.. (Pets are not allowed in Rest Stops or bathrooms) There have to be some options!

    1. When we need to travel with our two dogs, they are in crates in the back of the minivan for their safety, and if it is warm and we have to leave the vehicle, we leave it running with the AC on, and use a second key for to lock it from outside. When we have stopped to eat, I tell the hostess that we have left our dogs in our car with AC running, so if anyone comes in to report it, she can come to us.

  7. I am appalled and disgusted by another incident of animal neglect, insanity, and pure stupidity!!! What the hell is wrong with these lame ass of an excuse of pet owners!?! It’s common sense, when you leave your dog in a closed window car sitting in heat for countless hours or even more than ten minutes, your pet will start to panic, sweat, and literally can’t breathe. I don’t even want to hear another excuse, “I forgot” or I was only away for a few minutes” or whatever. Why don’t you try it yourself, sitting in a parked car for a few minutes …you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If you have to go out and you have to stop to do errands, and you’re not sure how long it’s going to take, including distractions along the way, LEAVE YOUR DOG HOME!!! These stupid S.O.B’s are not fooling anyone. You think you’re doing a big favor taking your dog for a drive, showing them you want to spend quality time together, when in reality, you are plotting your dog/pet’s murder. That’s reality..it all sounds too familiar from this countless incidents I have repeatedly read and heard every summer, every year. Either these crazy, dumb f***s don’t care, are on crack, or mentally retarded; make your pick. Yeah, I’m mad…enough already. There needs to be more strict laws, jail time, and fines for their consequences.

  8. Nothing disgusts me more than “Factory Farms”. The people who own these companies have only one constant goal on their daily agenda and it is to make as great a profit as possible with no regard whatsoever as to how it is achieved with regards to the care of the animals within their facilities. They push their workers to do their work faster and faster without any concern for the animals being abused in the process. Animals are required to be “dead” before being slaughtered however, when operating under pressure, many animals are still alive while being mutilated. When animals “who do have a brain and feelings” hesitate to enter the “death chamber” they are beaten ruthlessly. Most of these workers have poor education and are happy to have a job so they quickly lose any sense of feeling for the animals. Federal Inspectors who infrequently tour these facilities often disregard what takes place and are some are rewarded for the “good reports” that they file.
    All animals could survive in this world without humans; humans could not survive without animals.

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