Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19915
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Friday, May 31, 2013

County: Baltimore City

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Sharon Mulcahy

Baltimore police arrest a woman after she leaves her two dogs in a hot car -- and one dies.

The dog that survived is now recovering at BARCS. Police say the owner left it and another dog inside a hot car for nearly 20 hours with no food or water. Temperatures that day were around 96 degrees.

As temperatures soared to nearly 100 degrees last Friday, an employee at the Best Western on O'Donnell Street made a gruesome discovery inside a car parked in the hotel's lot.

"Individuals noticed a foul odor coming from the vehicle. There was a deceased dog inside," said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.

Police say the poodle, named Missy, died after her owner, 62-year-old Sharon Mulcahy, left Missy and another poodle inside the car for nearly 20 hours. The second dog survived, but suffered from severe dehydration.

After being arrested, Mulcahy told police she'd checked in, but wasn't feeling well.

"She had tried to go down to check on the dogs but had fallen asleep, fallen asleep for quite some time, and the dog died in the car. But regardless, that's still not an excuse," Guglielmi said.

Police say Mulcahy didn't leave any food or water in the car and all the windows were sealed shut, except for the passenger side window, which was rolled down about two inches.

The tragic story is striking a chord with animal lovers.

"I just think it should be a really great reminder for everybody. Don't be afraid to speak up if you see something like that happening," said Nicole Kasson, dog owner.

Even on a 78 degree day, temperatures inside a parked car can rise to anywhere between 100 and 120 degrees. On a 90 degree day, that number can skyrocket to as high as 160 degrees.

Temperatures that high can turn a car into a death trap, and land a pet owner in jail.

"You just can't do this to animals. You have to have respect for animals, you have to care for animals. They should have been put in better conditions than what they were left in," Guglielmi said.

The owner was in town from Virginia. She's been charged with animal abuse, which is a misdemeanor.

Baltimore County recently announced they're changing the way they handle abuse cases, after receiving criticism from a city task force.


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