Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16513
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Monday, Aug 30, 2010

County: District of Columbia

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Kenneth Reiff

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A tourist from Michigan was arrested on animal cruelty charges Monday after leaving his two dogs inside a scorching minivan parked near the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the District.

Rosie, an 8-year-old Chihuahua, died of heat stress after being inside the minivan for more than an hour, said Sabrina Fang, a spokeswoman for the Washington Humane Society. The dog had been left inside a basic plastic storage bin and not a cage designed for dogs, Fang said. The bin's solid walls inhibited any kind of air flow, Fang added.

Pebbles, left, and Rieff. (Washington Humane Society)

The second dog, a 15-year-old Beagle mix named Pebbles, was kept inside a crate made for dogs. She was treated for heat stress at an animal hospital, and was expected to be released today, Fang said.

Washington Humane Society officials say they are seeing more dogs in distress inside hot cars this summer, especially dogs from out of town. More tourists seem to be leaving more pets inside cars, unaware of how quickly the temperatures can rise.

"It has been a very hot summer and we have had too many dogs die," said Scott Giacoppo, chief programs officer at the Washington Humane Society.

Metropolitan Police arrested Kenneth Reiff on Monday, and his daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective Services, Humane Society officials said. Both had been inside the museum. Reiff could not be immediately reached for comment.

Case Updates

A tourist has been sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service for leaving his 8-year-old Chihuahua in a hot car in August while he and his daughter were visiting D.C.

The Chihuahua, named Rosie, died. Another dog, a 15-year-old beagle, survived.

Kenneth Reiff pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. He left the dogs in his car while he and his daughter visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

If Reiff violates probation, he could be sentenced to one year in jail.
Source: - Sep 27, 2010
Update posted on Jan 20, 2011 - 10:06PM 
A Michigan man arrested in Washington, D.C., after being accused of leaving his dogs in a hot van said it was all a mistake.

Clinton Township resident Kenneth Reiff said he was arrested by police and charged with two count of animal cruelty while he was on a trip with his daughter and their two dogs.

"I screwed up. I screwed up bad," Reiff said.

Reiff said he and his daughter were touring the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and that he had come up with a plan to keep the dogs safe while they were away.

Reiff said he thought his 8-year-old Chihuahua, Rosie, and his 15-year-old beagle, Pebbles, would be OK in the car if he plugged a fan into the car's charger to keep air moving inside.

But Humane Society spokeswoman Sabrina Fang said a street vendor noticed the dogs inside the van in the 1300 block of Independence Avenue and called authorities when they appeared to be suffering from the heat.

Police said Reiff's Rosie died after being kept in a plastic bin, while Pebbles was treated for heat stress.

"It gave me a false sense of security, having a fan running," Reiff said. "I thought it was safe and I'm sure other people have done the same thing."

Reiff's 14-year-old daughter was also taken into custody by Child Protective Services. Reiff said that was necessary because otherwise his daughter would have been left alone while he was arrested.

"If other people can learn by my mistake and save one dog's life, then it's worth it," Reiff said.
Source: Click on Detroit - Sept 3, 2010
Update posted on Sep 9, 2010 - 3:13PM 


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