SPRING HILL – A dog left inside a 128-degree car on Wednesday has been released from an emergency veterinarian and is at Hernando County Animal Services for holding.
Public Information Officer Denise Moloney said Thursday the dog is now eating and drinking on its own, and the sheriff’s office plans to file a petition in court, to determine if the dog’s owner, Hurline Saint-Fleur, 46, is fit to care for the animal.
Moloney said the sheriff’s office has 10 days to file, and plans to do so “ASAP.”
Saint-Fleur, a nurse practitioner at Oak Hill Hospital, was arrested after leaving her dog in the car parked at the hospital for more than an hour Wednesday, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies and an Animal Service Officer responded to the hospital’s front parking lot around 12:30 p.m., and found the 35-40 pound mixed breed dog locked in a Toyota Camry, panting and foaming at the mouth.
Dispatchers were told the dog had been left in the car more than an hour, according to the sheriff’s office. An arrest affidavit shows an animal services officer had been called out to the car an hour earlier as well.
After the temperature inside the car was checked, deputies broke the car window and freed the dog.
The dog was unable to stand on its own, and was given water to drink and cooled down with ice on its paws, before being taken to a local veterinarian for treatment.
Saint-Fleur said she had been out to give her dog water earlier in the day, and said she did not want to leave the animal alone in her Brooksville apartment.
She was arrested on charges of cruelty to animals. She was booked at the Hernando County Jail on the first-degree misdemeanor charge, and was released on $1,000 bail later Wednesday.