MILFORD, Del.- A Milford woman was charged Tuesday following the death of her dog that was tethered outside her home during dangerously hot temperatures.
Kimberly Sterling, 36, faces one count each of cruelty to animals, failure to vaccinate for rabies and failure to obtain a dog license, according to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
The Delaware Animal Services Unit, which enforces statewide animal control and cruelty laws, responded to a report of a dog tethered outside in the heat on July 18. When officers arrived, they reportedly found the dog with visible injuries tangled in the tether. The dog appeared to be suffering from heat stroke. Officers were not able to make contact with anyone in the home, DHSS officials said.
Because the dog was in imminent danger, the officers cut the tether and rushed the dog to medical treatment, but the dog died while en route, DHSS officials said.
At that time, two other DAS officers had arrived at the home where the dog resided and were able to make contact with the owner. They reportedly learned that the dog had been tethered outside for several hours. Additionally, there was no evidence of shelter, shade or water present for the dog, DHSS officials said.
While on the property, officers found a second dog inside the home. That dog was removed for medical evaluation and is being held pending the outcome of the cruelty case.
Sterling was released on her own recognizance pending a court hearing.
For information on how dog owners can protect their animals during excessive heat, click here.