Dog dies after it was left in Humane Society van

dog died, dog left in hot car, ocala news, newspaper, marion county
Rollin the dog — Photo provided by HSMC

Ocala, Florida — The Humane Society of Marion County said that they are devastated over the death of one of their dogs that was left in a hot van.

HSMC officials said, “As an organization that works so hard to preserve life, this is devastating to us.”

On Friday, September 11, a person who was coordinating the PetSmart National Adoption Event had called the shelter and asked for someone to come pick up a dog that would not stop barking.

In a press release, HSMC wrote, “When the Humane Society participates in an adoption event, the standard protocol if some of the dogs start barking too much, is to send them back to the shelter.”

According to reports, when the driver arrived at PetSmart, a volunteer put two dogs in the back of the van. The driver was not notified of the second dog.

During the drive back to the shelter, one of the dogs, Willa, got out of her crate and made her way toward the front of the van.

Once at the shelter, a staff member opened a side door to the van and only saw and unloaded Willa. The staff member said that she did not see nor hear the second dog, Rollin.

Officials said that the driver then drove back to PetSmart and parked the van, unaware that Rollin was still inside.

It was not until staff began to pack up at the end of the day that Rollin was discovered deceased.

Officials estimated that the dog had been left in the sweltering van for approximately two hours.

“Nothing has ever happened like this before,” HSMC officials said. “Because of this tragedy, we are implementing ‘Rollin’s Rules,’ including steps that will be taken in the future that will help remind staff and volunteers to thoroughly check the van before parking it.”

In an e-mail to Ocala Post, Marion County Public Information Officer Elaine DeIorio McClain wrote, “Marion County Animal Services plans to open a case on this incident, as would happen with any reported case of this nature, and [Marion County Animal Services] has reached out to the Humane Society.”

HSMC officials would not identify the employees involved. However, they did say that the staff member working at PetSmart has been working with animals for 15 years and the driver for eight.

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  • Patsy Yeager

    You know you hear a lot of people saying, I am sorry. But sorry is too late. Who ever left the dog in the van should be charged with animal cruelty, fined and fired. Does not matter how long he has worked for the company. If anyone else had left their animal in a hot car, that person would be judged, fined and jail term. Its no different the Humane Society of Marion County, they have to be accounted for also. Because if the next person leaves their animal in a hot car, they will refer, back to this accident, and say the Humane Society person, got off , so they should just be reprimanded and not charged.

    • If you read carefully though, the driver was told they were only picking up ONE dog, did not even load the dogs themselves, and was never told that there was a second dog in the van. I could understand prosecuting to the full extent of the law if the driver had been aware of the second dog or had loaded the dogs themselves, but they were not aware and did not load them in the van. This was a case of accidental death. Someone that has done that kind of work for 15 years, is not the kind of person to do something like this on purpose. It doesn’t make it any less horrible, but the pup was not left in the van intentionally. So you cannot prove intent in order to pursue charges.

      • Patsy Yeager

        When a bus driver leaves a child on the school bus, and they drive to the bus compound, that is reason to file charges, because the driver did not check the bus, before leaving the bus compound, which is mandatory, to check for books etc. And for any children who may have gone to sleep on the bus, which did happen to my daughter of six, she had gone to sleep on the bus, I stood at the bus stop, when the bus drove by, I yelled at the bus driver, who was going so fast she did not hear me. I did not have a vehicle at the time, so I called the bus garage, they told me all busses had come in, I told him the number of the bus my child was on, he said he could not go on the busses, as they were checked by the drivers, I had to call the police, to get my daughter, they had to force the door open, and there she was in the middle of the bus, starting to wake up. The bus driver lost her job, and the reason she did not check the bus, was because she going to Hawaii, for her honeymoon, and did not have the time to check it. It would be no different than leaving a puppy, dog, cat or whatever in the truck, even if you don’t think there are anymore animals, in the truck, that dog might have been asleep. Every door should have been checked. As with people leaving children in vehicles, who are in the child care business, every door and seat should be checked.

  • Patsy Yeager

    If a child rides a school bus and happens to fall asleep, and misses the bus stop to get off, then goes to the bus garage, it is the bus drivers who have to search every set, to see what valuables were left behind, and no children are still on the bus. I know my child was left of the school bus, in Ohio, the school bus garage said the woman who drove the bus, said there was no one left on the bus, but with the screaming of my voice, my child woke up, and behold the supervisor, turned beet red, a child was left on the school bus, and after she(bus driver) returned from a vacation, she was fired, because she said she had to get to Columbus, Ohio airport, because of a vacation in Hawaii, and she was running late. And must have forgotten to check the bus. It is no different if you have dogs, in cages, in a truck, even if there is only one, you have to check every cage, just incase.