Yorkie baked to death in car, court told

The Yorkshire terrier suffered hyperthermia before dying from being in a baking-hot car. Picture: Danny Lawson
The Yorkshire terrier suffered hyperthermia before dying from being in a baking-hot car. Picture: Danny Lawson
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A WOMAN locked a Yorkie in a baking car during the height of last summer’s heatwave – as temperatures soared so high that the tiny animal died, a court heard.

Natalie McArthur, 44, left the female Yorkshire terrier – Crystal, who belonged to McArthur’s father – together with three other dogs in the closed vehicle as temperatures hit 25 C.

Stirling Sheriff Court heard that the car was parked at the Burghmuir Retail Park in Stirling, and the dogs were trapped in the deadly heat for more than a hour on July 18 last year.

Little Crystal got so hot that her body temperature registered 42.7C and she contracted hyperthermia.

The retail park, which had not long opened when the incident occurred, is home to Waitrose, Maplin and TK Maxx.

McArthur failed to seek veterinary treatment for Crystal for around an hour after which the dog died.

McArthur, of Stirling, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Her not guilty plea to a second charge of leaving three more dogs locked in a car the very next day, outside the Bruceview Veterinary Centre in Glasgow Road, Stirling, was accepted by the prosecution.

Her daughter, Caitlin McArthur, 19, was also charged causing unnecessary suffering to animals by leaving the four dogs, including Crystal, in the hot car on July 18 but today her not guilty plea was accepted.

Sheriff Kevin Veal deferred sentence until October 3, to be dealt with along with other matters.

The Scottish SPCA recently warned pet owners that they could be risking their dogs lives by leaving them in a hot car for even a short period of time.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Most people know what it’s like to get into a car after it’s been sitting in the sun. It’s unbearable and we immediately roll down the windows or turn on the air conditioning.

“Imagine being trapped inside a hot vehicle wearing a fur coat for minutes, possibly hours, and you are some way to understanding how a dog left inside a hot vehicle feels.

“Many people might not realise that even on warm, cloudy days, cars can effectively turn into ovens and dogs can overheat in minutes.

“Leaving a window open or providing water is simply not good enough.

“Dogs can’t sweat the way humans do and need to pant to cool down which can lead to severe dehydration and hyperventilation.

“Our advice is to leave dogs at home as it is simply not worth the risk.”

The charity said each summer they receive a large number of calls from concerned members of the public about pets being left in hot cars.

Last year a 54-year-old man from Glasgow was banned from keeping animals for 10 years after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to two jack russells by leaving them inside a hot vehicle in the height of summer.

The dogs were saved from death by emergency treatment for heat stress and made a full recovery but were not returned to their owner.