Lebanon police officers arrested and charged a man with animal cruelty Tuesday after they said he left his dog inside a van with no air ventilation.
Lebanon police arrested Christopher Douglas Miller, 35, of Crossville, after he failed to properly ventilate his dog and ignored several previous warnings.
Officers responded to a call to help Animal Control at TRW around 3:30 p.m. and discovered a large dog inside of a van with temperatures exceeding 106 degrees, according to a Lebanon Police incident report.
Officials verified the temperature using a laser thermometer focused inside the vehicle.
The generator used to power the air conditioning was not functioning due to the low amount of fuel inside of the van’s tank.
Officials removed the dog from the van for his protection without forceful entry because the doors were unlocked.
Animal Control Officer Stephanie Cox said Miller had been warned in the past for leaving the dog in his vehicle.
Lebanon police officers received multiple calls on the vehicle and Miller in reference to animal cruelty.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen urged dog owners to use caution when leaving pets unattended in vehicles earlier this summer.
“Would you put your dog in an oven? Of course not, but that’s what it’s like when you leave your dog in the car,” Bowen said. Dogs and other animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
Bowen said the police department receives a few calls of unattended dogs during the summer months, but a few are too many. He encourages drivers to think of their pets during the hot months.
“Your dog is along for the ride, not the wait,” said Bowen.
Miller has a court date set for Oct. 1.