Dog in a Hot Locked Car: Teen Faces 5 Years in Prison for Animal Cruelty

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on July 28, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Dogs may be our best friends, but humans are not always very friendly to their dogs. One woman in Virginia, 19, left her pet puggle -- a cross between a beagle and a pug -- in a hot car parked outside a pet store in Falls Church.

According to a press release from the Fairfax County Police Department, someone spotted the dog and called the authorities, but not soon enough. Although officials managed to break into the car and get the animal to the veterinarian in the nearby pet store, the dog died soon after. The owner, Megan Kurtz Campbell, was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

Hot Box

This puggle is not the first dog to die in a hot car this summer. Earlier this month, reports the Huffington Post, a drug detection canine who worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections was left in a car for more than two hours and died.

The dog's handler, Sergeant Chad Holland, said he was storing some things in his vehicle and did not realize the dog was in there when he left. It is not yet clear whether Holland will face animal cruelty charges for the death of his canine partner Totti, a yellow Labrador retriever. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections did issue a statement saying that it is conducting a full investigation of the matter.

Animal Cruelty

Meanwhile in Virginia, where the puggle was locked in a car outside a Falls Church PetSmart, Megan Kurtz Campbell is already facing a felony animal cruelty charge. Animal cruelty resulting in the creature's death is a class 6 felony, according to Virginia law. If she is convicted, the teenager could spend up to five years in prison.


If you are charged with animal cruelty or any other crime, talk to an attorney. Many criminal defense attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.

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