A New York man is facing animal cruelty charges after police say he left six dogs caged inside a sweltering hot car for more than 11 hours, leading to three of the animals dying.
The incident happened in Long Island, where police say 41-year-old Carmine Dapruzzo left six Rottweilers in cages inside a Ford Explorer that was parked along the Montauk Highway. As ABC 7 reported, three of the dogs died and the remaining three had to be taken to a nearby animal shelter so they could be evaluated.
Temperatures reached the 90s on the day in question. As ABC 7 had previously reported, when it is 90 degrees outside, the interior of a car can reach 109 degrees in just 10 minutes, and 124 degrees after 30 minutes, a level that can be fatal to animals.
Capruzzo said in an interview with Long Island News 12 that he didn’t intend to harm the animals, but had nowhere else to leave them.
“It was a mistake. I came back from Pennsylvania yesterday and had nowhere to put them for the moment, and I was leaving for Pennsylvania again today,” Dapruzzo told the news outlet, adding that “people who really know me know how I take care of my dogs, and that was just a tragedy for me.”
The New York Daily News reported that Dapruzzo was nowhere near the Ford Explorer at the time authorities discovered the animals caged inside. They had to track him down by using the vehicle’s registration information, and later arrested him while he was working at a pizzeria owned by his mother.
This is not the first time he has been in trouble for his treatment of animals. News 12 found that Dapruzzo had previously been issued town violations for having eight unlicensed dogs, and was charged with three counts of failing to provide his dogs with adequate shelter.
The story garnered national headlines and evoked some strong emotions across social media. Many believed that Dapruzzo should face a harsh punishment, while others used the tragic story as an opportunity to educate others about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car, even if its just for a short time.
Carmine Dapruzzo has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly leaving the six Rottweilers caged inside his car. He is due back in court at a later date. Reports indicated that the surviving animals, which included a puppy, were expected to live and make a full recovery.