At least three Iowans are facing charges in connection with dogs that died in the state’s recent heat wave. On June 29, police in Urbandale were sent to a home on an animal welfare check. They found a year-and-a-half old German Shepherd dead in it’s kennel.
Officer Randy Peterson says it was 91-degrees at the time. “The kennel did not have any kind of shade,” Peterson said. “We did find a bowl in the kennel with the dog, but it was empty and dry.” The dog’s owner, identified as 18-year-old Luis Lara-Leyva, was charged after an autopsy determined the dog died due to the heat.
Lara-Leyva is charged with animal neglect, a serious misdemeanor. In Jasper County, 59-year-old Merlin Van Wyk and his wife Debra are also charged with animal neglect after their two-year-old Boxer died on July 4. Lynnville police said the dog was leashed to a pole in their yard.
The leash became tangled and the dog could not reach its water dish. Temperatures across Iowa on Independence Day were in the upper 90s.