The tourist, Kenneth Reiff, of Michigan, had left the 8-year-old Chihuahua, Rosie, and a 15-year-old beagle mix, Pebbles, in his minivan. The vehicle became scorching in the summer heat. He had left Rosie in a plastic storage bin(!), according to the Washington Post. The bin’s solid walls acted as a heat conduit, not allowing air flow. Rosie essentially died in an oven.
Pebbles was left in a dog crate. She survived, and was treated for heat stroke.
Reiff has been arrested on animal cruelty charges. His daughter was taken into protective custody. (How sad and confusing this all must be to the poor girl…)
Washington Humane Society officials told the Post they’ve seen too many dogs of tourists in heat distress in cars this summer. People unfamiliar with the area don’t seem to realize how quickly temperatures can rise, officials said.
We could chalk Rosie’s horrible death up to another case of tragic ignorance. But a plastic bin?