SACRAMENTO - A fourth dog left in a hot car with three other dogs had to be euthanized, Dr. Jean Rabinowitz with the Sacramento County Animal Care confirmed Sunday morning.
Rabinowitz said the two-year-old pitbull they named Della was suffering from kidney failure and had been in intensive care for 18 hours at a Sacramento veterinary hospital. The pit bull only had a 30 percent chance of survival.
"She's depressed. She's bleeding out, and she's vomiting. It's sad," Senior Animal Control Officer Libby Simmons told News10 Saturday. "It's sad, and it's completely preventable."
Della was the lone surviving pit bull after an owner left four pit bulls in crates inside his SUV with no water, shade and only cracked windows for at least two hours Friday afternoon.
The owner told animal control officers he was visiting his girlfriend after a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy had to break through a window to try to save the dogs.
Animal Control said the dog's owner, 34-year-old Trevor Moore Courtney, left the four pit bulls in crates inside his SUV at the Sierra Fair Apartments on Fair Oaks Boulevard, during the hottest part of the afternoon.
When someone finally called for help, a sheriff's deputy had to break through a window -- only to find three dogs already dead and Della suffering.
Courtney was cited for multiple counts of cruelty to animals and faces hefty fines, as well as a ban on owning animals.
Officials hope this case will be an eye opener for dog owners and a warning not to leave your animals in a hot car.
The animal shelter said during this time of year, it treats dogs for heat stroke weekly, if not daily.