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Woman charged after dog left in hot car outside Oak Brook mall dies

Mary R. Smith | Oak Brook police

A west suburban woman is facing animal cruelty charges after a dog that was left in a car outside a west suburban mall died Thursday evening.

Officers were called at 7:48 p.m. for reports of a dog locked inside a white Mercedes at Oakbrook Center Mall in Oak Brook, according to a Oak Brook police. They found the vehicle parked, locked and turned off with the windows closed and fogged.

A “brown, medium-sized dog” was lying on the driver’s seat, and police entered the vehicle to remove the dog, police said. It was taken to the VCA Arboretum View Animal Hospital in Downers Grove, where it was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m.

The heat index outside the car was 83 degrees when officers found the dog, after temperatures reached 95 degrees in Oak Brook earlier that day, police said. The dog had a core body temperature above 109 degrees at the time of its death.

Mary R. Smith, 60, was charged with a misdemeanor count of cruel treatment under the Humane Care of Animals Act, police said. The Glen Ellyn resident was released from the Oak Brook Police Department on an I-bond pending a future court date.

“This loss of a defenseless animal was avoidable and should not have occurred.” Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger said in a statement. “There is no reason to take your pet out in extreme heat without adequate air conditioning and water.”