2 puppies die after left in hot car overnight in Florida; owner arrested

Good Samaritans call 911 after spotting 3 puppies locked in hot car in Florida (WESH/CNN)
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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH/CNN) - A dog owner was arrested on animal cruelty charges after Florida authorities say two puppies died when she left them overnight in her car outside a hotel.

Good Samaritans called 911 to report animals in distress around 9 a.m. Tuesday at a Quality Inn and Suites in Orlando, Fla.

"There are several dogs locked in a car. They got the windows cracked. There is no one around the dogs, and they think one of the dogs is dead,” said one of the Samaritans in the 911 call.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says three puppies, a 6-month-old Chihuahua, a 3-month-old shepherd and a 6-month-old terrier mix, were trapped in the car, as the temperature climbed to more than 90 degrees.

While the 911 caller was still on the phone, the Samaritans began trying to rescue the pups.

"The citizens, after they called 911, attempted to get into the car through an open window, probably 3 inches. They managed to get two of the puppies out because they were small,” said Sgt. Al Giardiello with the sheriff’s office.

Firefighters responded to the scene and managed to open the car doors, pulling the last of the dogs out. Unfortunately, the Chihuahua had already died.

Emergency responders gave the shepherd medical help right away, but she ultimately died as well.

Deputies posted on Facebook, saying they hope the terrier mix, named Gruff, will be OK.

The dogs’ owner, 54-year-old Penelope Stanley, was arrested on three counts of animal cruelty. She told investigators her family was in Orlando for vacation, and she left the puppies in the car overnight because the hotel did not allow her to bring them into their room.

"If it’s too hot for a person inside a vehicle, it’s way too hot for an animal or a child inside that vehicle,” Giardiello said.

Stanley told deputies she checked on the dogs around 6:30 a.m., and they were fine at that time.