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Dog Died in Hot Car While Owner Shopped Walmart, Cops Say

A Florida woman faces charges in the death of her dog after spending more than half a day inside a Walmart “browsing.”

Cassaundra Rasmussen. Okaloosa County Jail
Cassaundra Rasmussen. Okaloosa County Jail

A North Florida woman’s 13-hour Walmart shopping spree ended with a warrant for her arrest after Crestview Police say her dog Waldo died in the heat.

Police say Cassaundra Rasmussen, 49, of Crestview went inside a Walmart store in late June and spent 13 hours “browsing.” A customer discovered the dog around 11 a.m. June 27 and reported the incident.

“Though Rasmussen left the driver side window partially down, the temperatures continued to increase in the vehicle which resulted in the dog’s death,” a media release from the Crestview Police Department stated. “There was no food or water available for the dog.”

When police questioned Rasmussen, she told them she “forgot the dog was inside the vehicle.”

A warrant on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges was subsequently issued for Rasmussen’s arrest. She was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail June 30.

Police say the dog’s death is consistent with heat exhaustion due to high temperatures.

While it is unclear how many dogs die after being left in cars on hot days, PETA estimates it can take less than 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 160 degrees on a 90-degree day.

“Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes,” the PETA website says. “Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.”

It is unclear when Rasmussen will have her day in court. Her case was transferred out of Okaloosa County Courts July 10, according to court records.

Jerry S July 15, 2014 at 03:37 PM
probably turnin tricks in the mens room
Rachel Keigley July 15, 2014 at 06:51 PM
“Hot car” dog fatalities are needless and all-too-common. Check out the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s resource to learn about what you can do to protect dogs from hot cars http://tinyurl.com/lzctdjq
John Collins July 15, 2014 at 07:30 PM
Crimes like this will continue until the punishment matches the crime.

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