JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. — A Jefferson County woman faces an animal cruelty charge after her dog passed away Wednesday due to extreme heat in a car.
Stephanie Shae Thomas, 34 of Trussville, is charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals Friday. She is responsible for the death of her dog, who she left in a Mercedes vehicle for almost eight hours, on Independence Day at a Trussville Walmart.
Officers arrived at the scene after reports of a dog inside a car with the engine not on, according to Trussville Police Department.
Officers were forced to break the window after an attempt to locate the driver failed. The dog passed away, however, when efforts were made by police to keep it alive.
Multiple shoppers and bystanders tried to open the car, according to a video by Stacey Guthrie.
Thomas eventually came out of the store around 12 p.m., according to TPD. She had parked the car at 4 a.m. and told officers she lost track of time.
Officers released the owner, but not without warning. They told her investigators would be in contact.
A warrant was later issued. The 34-year-old was arrested by Trussville law enforcement on July 5 and later transferred.
Thomas is in the Jefferson County Jail. Her bond is set at $25,000.