St. Petersburg woman accused of leaving dog in hot car while attending community meeting

A 24-year-old woman was charged with animal cruelty on Monday afternoon after leaving a dog in a hot car, according to police.

Melissa Major is accused of leaving a dog inside her car for about an hour and a half while she attended an Urban Forestry Council meeting at City Hall. The police department says someone saw the dog locked in the car and called for help.

Major was watching the dog while the owner was on vacation, according to officers.

Courtesy: Pinellas County Sheriffs Office

Courtesy: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

She was arrested around 5:15 p.m. at Mirror Lake Drive & 5th Street N, according to officers.

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The St. Petersburg Police Department says the car was turned off and the windows were only cracked about ½ inch. The outside temperature was 89 degrees, but it felt like 95, according to authorities.

Officials say the dog was panting heavily when officers arrived at the scene. An officer took the dog to a nearby animal hospital.

According to SPPD, Major admitted to leaving the dog in the hot car after being read her rights.

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