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Colorado Dog Dies in Hot Car While Owner Plays Golf

A 31-year-old man in Fort Collins, Colorado, has been sentenced to two months in jail for leaving his dog in a hot car for hours while he played golf, CBS News reports. Sadly, the dog, a German Shepherd Mix named Keef, died from heat exhaustion.  

Moreover, the Jefferson County Court judge served Michael Reynolds with a 2-year probation period and barred him from owning a dog for two years. The judge also ordered Reynolds to pay various fines and fees, as well as sentencing him to mandatory attendance at a dog ownership class. Furthermore, he was issued 100 hours of useful public service and monitored sobriety.

During Reynolds’ sentencing hearing on Jan. 2, the judge described his actions as reckless, further remarking, “leaving a dog in a car for several hours while drinking beer and golfing is unacceptable and deserving of a jail sentence.”   

Court documents showed on July 4, 2023, Reynolds drove to the Foothills Golf Course with Keef. It was about 80 degrees outside, as per KDVR News. Despite the lethal heat, Reynolds left Keef locked in the car with all windows up for nearly four hours. 

Bystander breaks window of hot car to rescue trapped dog  

Witnesses who called 911 after spotting Keef inside Reynolds’s car said they were alarmed by the dog’s distress call. According to one witness, Keef was whimpering loudly.

Shockingly, another passerby stated they saw the window turning foggy as a result of Keef’s heavy panting.

Concerned about the distressed canine, one onlooker used a golf club to smash the car’s window and free him. Unfortunately, they found Keef unresponsive, and efforts to revive him by administering CPR were in vain.

Upon returning, Reynolds said he thought he had rolled the windows down and left a bowl of water for Keef. Nonetheless, authorities arrested and charged him with a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, which he pleaded guilty to. 

Colorado has a law protecting residents from civil or criminal liability if they break the window of a hot vehicle to save a trapped pet or child. For this reason, authorities didn’t charge the individual who smashed the glass on Reynolds’s car.

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