Dog dies after 5 hours in hot car; woman jailed

Posted at 9:20 AM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 15:03:03-04

Police say a 7-year-old dog died after it was left inside a woman's car in Phoenix for around more than five hours on Sunday.

A witness said the woman, identified as 44-year-old Deanna Caroline Zapata, arrived at a storage facility near 24th Street and Osborn Road before noon. 

One of the employees at the facility did not see a dog in the car, but around 3 p.m., walked by the car and noticed it was running with the windows slightly rolled down.

Around 5 p.m., Zapata entered the business and told the employee she thought someone stole her dog from the car, but soon after found it dead under the driver's seat inside her warm vehicle.

Police noted a small water dish was on the car floor, but it was overturned and empty.

The average outside temperature at the time was 90 degrees and the dog was left in the car for more than five hours, police say.

Zapata told police she parked her car under the tree, cracked the windows and had the air-conditioning on for the dog because she could not bring it into the facility.

When asked why she waited so long to check on the dog, she told police she is "bad with time". She understood that it was illegal to leave her dog in a hot car and agreed that she should be punished.

Zapata was booked into jail on one count of felony animal cruelty.