You would think that dog handlers would know more than the average person about what it takes to properly care for dogs butone Kansas City handler, Mary Wild, 24, obviously didn’t. She didn’t even know that basics, to get the dogs out of her van when she got home from an Iowa dog show.
When she got home about 1 am, she decided that her garage would be too hot for the dogs so she left them in the van in their crates, went inside and went to bed. Of the eight dogs, all purebred show dogs, including a malamute, a Dalmatian, three golden retrievers, an akita and a husky, 7 died from the heat. Only the Husky survived. Authorities believed temperatures in the van could have reached as high as 120 degrees.
Wild said that she took precautions to keep the dogs cool, van parked under a tree with the windows and doors open, and 6 fans running. She said that she checked on them at 4 am and they were fine but at 6:30 am all the dogs were in distress, 5 of the dogs were unresponsive. After trying to revive them unsuccessfully herself, she took them to a vet. Ultimately 7 of the dogs succumbed to heat stroke and died.
“She should’ve gotten those dogs into a cool location, in her kitchen, her own bedroom, I don’t care where,” Monica Colvin, the owner of one of the dogs that died, Jersey, one of the top-rated Akitas in the country, said. “The dogs’ safety should be paramount.”
“I’ve never seen such a horrific act in my lifetime,” said Dr. Laura Ivan, the veterinarian in House Springs whose office Wild brought the dogs to.
Dr. Ivan said there is also a discrepancy in the time line that Wild gave to police. She didn’t receive a call from Wild until 9:08 on her cell phone, a second to her office at 9:30 and Wild didn’t show up at the office until 9:30 am. By the time Dr. Ivan showed up some 15 minutes later, some of the dog were already in rigor mortis.
“It only takes five minutes for heat stroke to happen,” Ivan said. “If the brain heats up to about 108 degrees, you only have a few minutes to lower the temperature and restore oxygen to the brain. The blood, essentially, is boiling.”
When Wild arrived at the vet’s office, she found the dogs’ crates stacked on top on one another and all the water bowls empty.
Wild has been charged with 8 counts of animal cruelty and is free on bond right now. If convicted, the AKC could also penalize her with up to a 15-year suspension or $3000 fine. She might not be able to participate in AKC shows or register purebred dogs with the AKC. Oddly enough, although she does handle dogs for AKC accredited shows, she is not an AKC registered handler so either she didn’t meet the requirements or didn’t bother to apply.
Here is a woman, who was hired by the dog owners, to transport, care for and show their dogs. Instead she kills 7 of the 8 dogs in her care. Sheer stupidity and irresponsibility!! It’s bad enough that we’re hearing story after story about people leaving dogs in vehicles or situations where heat is a deadly danger but when to comes to people who are supposed to be professionals, people who should know, it makes a sad situation even worse!