LOS ANGELES, California – Animal advocates are upset after CBS Los Angeles confirmed Tuesday that an emotional support dog saved from the backseat of a sweltering parked car in the Six Flags parking lot and then lost by theme park staff has been found and returned back in to the custody of the owner.
The National Animal Action Examiner column reported Tuesday that the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park had come under fire by a California woman after the medically prescribed emotional support dog she left locked in a hot car on Sunday was rescued by security staff and escaped from the kennel that had revived the one-year-old Pomeranian and saved its life.
According to a report filed by CBS Los Angeles, Shalanon Brooks made the decision to leave her dog ‘Malibu’ inside her parked car with water, food and the windows cracked after a zipper on the carrying bag she had brought to transport Malibu around the park in broke.
Malibu was spotted by Sheriffs and Six Flags staff and appeared to be in distress and was removed from the car and taken to the on-site kennel where she was revived and cooled. Unfortunately while receiving medical attention, Malibu escaped through an open door and fled into the parking lot where she disappeared.
To the shagrin and dismay of animal advocates, an update by CBS Los Angeles made Tuesday says that Brooks sent a message to the news station on Twitter stating that “her dog was returned … after the people who found Malibu saw our TV report.”
An advocacy group has now appeared on Facebook Thursday demanding that Shalanon Brooks be charged under animal cruelty laws and that her dog Malibu be taken from her custody and placed in a new home.
“We are here” says the description of the ‘Save Malibu – Arrest Shalanon Brooks For Animal Cruelty’ Facebook group “to demand that authorities in California charge Shalanon Brooks with animal cruelty and negligence for leaving her emotional support dog Malibu locked in her car in the parking lot of Six Flags Magic Mountain.”
The group then cites California state law that deals directly with animal cruelty, specifically the laws pertaining to leaving any animal in a parked car.
Penal Code 597.7 PC California’s law against leaving an animal in an unattended vehicle prohibits leaving an animal (or animals) in an unattended car if…by doing so…you endanger the health or well-being of the animal. Under this law, conditions such as
– the weather (is the temperature too hot or too cold?),
– a lack of adequate ventilation (are the windows open or at least cracked?),
– a lack of food or water (will the animal become malnourished or dehydrated?), and
– any other circumstance that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death to the animal
According to the law a first time conviction “only subjects you to a maximum $100 fine per animal. However, if the animal does suffer great bodily injury, you face a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500 and a maximum six-month county jail sentence.”
California law also stipulates that “because leaving an animal in an unattended car may also be considered an act of animal neglect, prosecutors could choose to file additional charges under the more serious offense of Penal Code 597 PC California’s animal abuse law. If convicted of this crime, you face up to three years in the California state prison.”
As one animal advocate stated on Tuesday, returning Malibu back into the custody of Shalanon Brooks should not be a decision taken lightly.
“If the dog is found,” said Anna Marie DeHaven to the National Animal Action Examiner on Tuesday “I think some serious thought needs to be put into the decision whether or not to return the dog to this woman.”
Video of the original story by CBS Los Angeles available HERE
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