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Two dogs die from heat exhaustion in Lenoir County

(WITN)
Published: Jul. 27, 2016 at 9:45 PM EDT
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Authorities say a second dog has died after EMS workers spotted the two in a fenced-in yard outside of Grifton in Lenoir County on Wednesday.

One of the dogs was already dead when deputies responded around 3:00 p.m. to the home on Skeeter Pond Road.

Animal control says it doesn't appear there was any malicious intent. They say the owner had the two dogs, a puppy and an adult, tied up because they were running loose.

The dogs were under in the shade under an overhang, but their leads got tangled in a bush, exposing them to direct sunlight and away from available water, according to animal control.

The veterinarian told animal control that the two dogs died from heat exhaustion.

Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says they're awaiting a final report from animal control before deciding whether any charges should be filed.


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With little shade and little water, Lenoir County authorities say EMS workers spotted two dogs in a fenced-in yard on Skeeter Pond Road in Grifton.

One of them was already dead when deputies responded around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Another was so weak it couldn't walk and had to be carried to the animal control truck.

Animal advocate Marion Blackburn says unfortunately she's seen this in her community, too.

"Summer heat in Eastern North Carolina is literally deadly to animals, especially those animals who spend their entire lives outside," she tells WITN. "I think some of the worst cases, and we've heard about this right here in my community, dogs that are on chains."

Deputies say they talked to the dogs' owner, but we do not know what she told them or how long the pets may have been outside.

Blackburn is a mother to seven animals, including 13-year-old rescue Gepetto. She wants to remind every pet owner of the extra care you should take in these extreme conditions.

"Just make sure you're giving that animal a lot of water, make sure you keep it off the asphalt, if you go out for walks, stay on the grass," she says. "If you have an animal that stays out all the time, first of all, think about bringing that dog in, but if you do keep your dog in a pen or a fenced-in backyard, make sure you have lots of shade for that animal, just like us."

Lenoir County deputies say they are working with animal control to determine charges for the pet owner.

We'll continue to keep you posted on that, as well as the status of the dog who was saved Wednesday.

Animal advocates, like Blackburn, say that if you see a pet outside and it does not look okay, do not hesitate to call police or animal services, because that could be the difference between life or death.