A Montreal-area woman found guilty of animal cruelty last month after leaving her dog in a car on a summer day six years ago says she doesn’t believe it was the heat that killed him.
Marina Palakartcheva says she left her dog Ares in her vehicle with a window cracked for what she expected would be 20-minute trip into a pharmacy with her boyfriend and son, on July 3, 2011.
Palakartcheva said she had tried to give Ares some water before she left, but that he had refused.
Palakartcheva says the trip into the pharmacy and another store ended up being longer than expected, in part because her young son needed a bathroom break.
When she returned to her vehicle, police had broken the glass.
Areas was taken to a veterinarian and died less than 24 hours later.
Palakartcheva says the police told her the dog was “not okay because of the heat,” but she didn’t believe that was the case.
She says she had left Ares in the car before without any problems and it was evening, as opposed to mid-day.
“I didn’t leave him long enough under the sun for him to be able to develop this condition,” she said.
A police officer testified at the trial that the dog had been as hot as a stove top.
The veterinarian who treated Ares told the court that he was essentially cooked to death.
Montreal veterinarian Enid Stiles said that, even with windows open, a car’s interior can quickly become dangerously hot for pets.
“It’s really like an oven in a car,” she said.
Stiles added that dogs that have “squishy” faces – such as bulldogs, boxers and some terriers – have short noses and wide palates that may make them extra sensitive to warm conditions.
Palakartcheva says Ares had been vomiting earlier on the day in question and she theorizes he may have been poisoned.
“There are people that hate dogs,” she said. “For me, he got poisoned. When I put all the puzzle together, the vomiting, no food, no water, then fever, we go straight to the point.”
Palakartcheva faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and 18 months in jail. She said she plans to appeal her conviction.
“There are a lot of cruel people,” she said. “But I am not among them … this dog was raised like my son.”
With a report CTV Montreal’s Kelley Greig