A woman named Colleen Meyer was charged with nine counts of animal cruelty. For those who are curious, what happened was that a man called 911 in Brooksville, FL because he had been bitten by a group of three dogs. Two of the three dogs ran off, while the third dog ran into a travel trailer. Animal enforcement officers were able to capture the two dogs that had run off. However, it wasn’t until a police officer conducted a traffic stop that they managed to discover the third dog along with eight newborn puppies, which had been locked into the travel trailer with no food, no water, not ventilation, and most important of all, no air conditioning. Given that this happened in August, temperatures were high, so much so that one of the animal enforcement officers called in to handle the case actually needed treatment for heat exhaustion afterwards. On the whole, the dogs had a narrow escape, particularly since the third dog discovered in the trailer showed further signs of mistreatment.
Why Did This Happen?
It is difficult to speculate about a case of animal abuse with such a dearth of information. For that matter, it is a complicated phenomenon, meaning that it can have more than one potential cause. Still, it is worth mentioning something about what can motivate people to engage in animal abuse. For starters, it is important to note that animal abuse encompasses a very wide range of occurrences. Sometimes, it is very much intentional in nature. Other times, it happens because of neglect, which can have consequences that are just as bad. Regardless, people have been known to engage in animal abuse for a wide range of reasons. For example, some do so because they feel either unnoticed, powerless, or a combination of those things. In contrast, others do so because they want to get some kind of reaction out of other people, whether that happens to be fear, shock, or outrage. There are cases in which people engage in animal abuse because they see it as a safer way to go after someone who cares about the animal that they victimize. Furthermore, there are even cases in which people engage in animal abuse because they are copying what they have seen in the past.
Why Was the Travel Trailer So Dangerous?
Chances are good that interested individuals have already heard about the dangers of leaving their pets in a vehicle on their own. Primarily, this is because the temperatures in an enclosed space can rise much faster than what interested individuals might expect. For instance, just ten minutes’ time is enough to see the temperature in a vehicle rise to 89 degrees Fahrenheit when the temperature outside is 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, a hour is enough to see the temperature in a vehicle rise to 113 degrees Fahrenheit when the temperature outside is 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, living beings don’t do so well under such conditions unless they have extensive adaptations for them. For instance, wild asses can survive in places that reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit on a regular basis because they combine a flexible metabolism with various heat-beating strategies. However, pets are nowhere near as prepared for the inside of a vehicle in summertime. As such, when they get exposed to too much heat, that puts a horrendous strain on their systems. Something that can lead to failure with disastrous consequences. Even worse, pets don’t have a way to cool off when they are in an enclosed space. The aforementioned wild asses can use their huge ears to let out some of the excess heat. However, that isn’t a real option for pets in a vehicle, seeing as they are stuck in an environment in which heat can come in but find it very difficult to get out. Moreover, pets can’t either unlock a vehicle to get out or turn on the air conditioning to ensure a more comfortable temperature, meaning that they don’t have a real solution available to them.
Some people have been known to leave their pets in their vehicles anyways because they believe that their preparations will be enough to prevent such problems from coming up. For example, it is very common for people to leave their pets on their own because of the assumption that they will be away for just a short period of time, meaning that they should be back before anything bad can happen. The fundamental issue with this approach is that no one can predict the future with perfect certainty. Sometimes, people just make bad estimates of how much time that they are actually going to need for whatever errand it is that they have in mind, particularly if those errands involve factors that are outside of their control. Other times, people can get distracted, thus causing them to use up more time than expected. Meanwhile, there are also people who leave their pets alone under the assumption that everything will be fine because they have either left the air conditioning on or left the windows open for some ventilation. The first solution definitely helps. Unfortunately, there have been cases of people leaving their air conditioning on before returning to find it off, perhaps because the engine has failed or perhaps because their pet accidentally turned it off while moving about. Both of which can be very dangerous. As for the second solution, it isn’t actually a solution because it doesn’t actually buy that much extra time.
Of course, all of this is assuming that the pet is in good condition. Something that was definitely not the case in the incident mentioned here. The adult dog was described as emaciated, meaning that she would’ve been getting insufficient food and water for quite some time for her to have reached such a state. Meanwhile, the newborn puppies were newborn puppies, meaning that they were inherently much more fragile than their adult counterparts. As such, all of the dogs stuck in the travel trailer would have been in an even more vulnerable position than usual, thus making it very lucky that they were rescued in time. Such incidents will still happen in the future. However, the fact that these nine dogs were rescued by the officers made a world of difference for them, which matters a great deal.