Crime

Trainer charged in deaths of 3 service dogs is ‘absolutely devastated,’ lawyer says

Service dog owner traumatized after pet dies in trainer’s hot car

Brooke King, owner of dog that died in trainer's car speaks about the incident and her connection to her service dog, Vinny. On July 24, three service dogs died after a trainer left them in the car outside a Fort Worth vet office.
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Brooke King, owner of dog that died in trainer's car speaks about the incident and her connection to her service dog, Vinny. On July 24, three service dogs died after a trainer left them in the car outside a Fort Worth vet office.

A woman who police say left three dogs in a car — where they died in the heat — is devastated by their deaths, her lawyer said.

Sherry Taylor, a dog trainer in Dallas-Fort Worth, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty Thursday after three service dogs died inside her car in July.

“She’s absolutely devastated. She loves animals as much as everybody else does,” Taylor’s lawyer, Bob Gill, said Tuesday. “The whole thing is just a big, tragic accident.”

Taylor took the three service dogs to a veterinarian office on July 24, and she left the dogs in the car while she walked in to visit with coworkers, according to a Fort Worth police report. Taylor left the car on with the air conditioning running and had a sensor that was supposed to go off if the car got too hot, dog owners Lezlie Kurtz and Brooke King said.

Gill said Taylor’s car malfunctioned and the sensor did not work properly. He said Taylor has barely been able to talk about what happened, and she was not directly available for comment.

Taylor should not be charged with animal cruelty because she did not intentionally hurt the dogs and took reasonable precautions when she left them in the car, Gill said.

Texas has no specific laws against leaving animals in cars, he said.

“I think that people need to understand that this was just an accident,” Gill said.

Taylor posted bond Friday, Gill said. The District Attorney’s Office will now decide whether or not to file a case against Taylor.

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Kaley Johnson is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. She majored in investigative reporting at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has a passion for bringing readers in-depth, complex stories that will impact their lives. Send your tips via email or Twitter.
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