Woman accused of leaving dog in hot car while attending meeting at City Hall

Melissa Major

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A west-central Florida woman is accused of leaving a dog in a hot car while she attended a community meeting at City Hall, authorities said.

According to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office online booking records, Melissa Major, 24, of St. Petersburg, was arrested Monday. She was charged with one count of animal cruelty, Pinellas County online court records show.

St. Petersburg police said Major allegedly left the animal locked in a vehicle for approximately 90 minutes, WTVT reported. Officers said that Major was attending an Urban Forestry Council meeting, and that a passerby saw the dog locked in the car and called for help, according to the television station.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, Major was watching the dog while its owner was on vacation, WTVT reported.

According to police, the car was not running and the windows were cracked about a half-inch, according to the television station. It was 89 degrees when the dog was found, but the heat index was closer to 95 degrees, authorities said.

The dog was panting heavily when officers arrived. An officer took the animal to a nearby animal hospital, WTVT reported.

Police said that Major allegedly admitted to leaving the dog in the car, according to the television station. She was arrested at about 7:46 p.m. EDT on Monday and was released eight hours later after posting bail, online records show.

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