Monday, July 27, 2009


A municipal court judge Monday told a pet owner she's very lucky her dog didn't die in a hot vehicle..Calling the owner's choice to leave the dog locked in the car as cruel confinement.  And, as a result that same judge upheld an animal seizure warrant and awarded custody of the pup to the city....Meaning soon it'll be available for adoption.  Three news has been following this story. 

Monday's hearing was an opportunity for  Loraine Martinez to get her dog back. She tried representing herself.  She took the stand and told the judge she loved her dog named Tex. 

Loraine Martinez quickly got in a friend's car, dodged our camera and our questions following the hearing.  She told us inside the courtroom she didn't want to speak with us because quote "We had humiliated her, and her sons."

We were there on July 9Th, and saw her dog yelping and rapidly panting from the inside of her uncle's SUV. According to police she left the animal for at least thirty minutes while she went inside a store in Moore Plaza. She said she was looking for her uncle who was shopping. We later confronted her after concerned citizens called 9-1-1 and police had to break into the locked vehicle to rescue her dog.

She questioned the city's witness,  Animal Control Services Community Education Officer, Dennis Noble asking him when it became illegal to leave dogs in cars, and asked aren't dogs able to tolerate heat better than humans. That's not the case, in this type of heat this is considered cruel confinement. 

The judge agreed with animal control and a city prosecutor that Ms. Martinez might love her dog, but leaving an animal in a locked car is cruel confinement as if leaving them to cook in an oven. The dog is now the property of the city, and will be available for adoption after it goes through heart worm tests.  If it tests negative then it'll be available to go to a new home.  

 The temperature outside is different than the inside of the car. For instance, the average temperature on Monday was 97 degrees...after just 15 minutes even if the windows are cracked the temperature inside of a car, rises some 30 degrees..."  Video