The St. Louis area professional handler responsible for the deaths of seven high priced show dogs has been charged with animal cruelty.
From the St. Louis dispatch —
The handler of seven show dogs who died last month after being left in a hot van has been charged with eight counts of animal cruelty, authorities said.
Mary Wild, the handler, is free on $2,500 bond, said Jefferson County Prosecutor Forrest Wegge.
Police said Wild left eight show dogs overnight in a hot van after returning from a dog show in Iowa. Just one, a Siberian Husky, survived. Authorities said the temperature in the van could have reached 120 degrees. Many of the dogs had thick coats.
Wild, 24, had been hired by owners to present the dogs at a dog show in Iowa. When she returned to Arnold about 1 a.m. on June 22, she left eight dogs in the van and went inside to sleep.
Seven of the eight dogs died of apparent heat stroke. The eighth dog, a Husky named Cinder, recovered and went home last week.
All eight dogs were big purebreds, some with thick coats. They included a malamute, a Dalmatian, three golden retrievers and an akita.
Past efforts to reach Wild have failed.
Wild could lose privileges with the American Kennel Club if convicted. . She would not be allowed to take part in AKC-sanctioned dog shows or register purebred dogs with the AKC, said Daisy Okas, assistant vice president of communications for the American Kennel Club.
It’s a tragic event all around, but it’s about time that handlers who screw up and kill dogs face the same consequences as the rest of the general public.