June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Woman charged in death of dog staked out in sun

HINCKLEY TWP. — A woman is facing animal cruelty charges after her 5-year-old black Lab died July 5 from apparent heat exhaustion, police said.

Christine Besenfelder, 51, of 1595 Kuder Road, was charged with prohibitions concerning companion animals, a second-degree misdemeanor, police said.

Officer Rich Valek said Besenfelder reportedly left the dog chained to a metal stake post in her yard in direct sunlight with no food or water while she went to work for more than eight hours.

He said the necropsy report on the dog showed its internal temperature was 109.8 degrees at least several hours after it had died. Normal body temperature for a dog is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees.

Valek said Besenfelder called police when she got home from work to report that someone had killed her dog. Through the investigation, he said, it was determined she left the dog without ensuring it would receive proper care.

“It was in excessive sunlight all day,” Valek said.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in the area reached 86 degrees by 5 p.m. July 5, about the time Besenfelder reported her dog had been killed.

Valek said dogs left outside should at a minimum have access to shade, water and food.

“It’s a shame,” Valek said. “It made us all mad.”

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.