Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bird Dies Excruciating Death: Left In Hot Car While Person Goes In To See Movie

Blue ribbon award for the idiot of the week. What? Did she actually think sitting in a hot car is different for a bird vs. any other animal? Or did she not care? Either way, the death that bird suffered would have been slow and painful. Even 12 months in prison will not be enough for this crime.


Bird dies in hot car while owner in movie

Patrons see cockatoo suffering, Regal employee calls police; woman could get 12 months.



Date published: 7/25/2006


It's not clear whether a 25-year-old bird owner enjoyed the movie she watched Saturday in Fredericksburg.

But it is clear, police said, that her pet cockatoo didn't enjoy waiting for her to watch it.

The bird died after being left in a hot car outside Regal Cinemas in Central Park, police spokesman Jim Shelhorse said.

The owner, Donia Monique Brooks of Stafford, was charged with cruelty to animals, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a potential 12-month jail sentence.

According to Shelhorse, moviegoers spotted the bird in distress as they were going into the theater. They told an employee, who came outside, saw the bird and called police about 5:20 p.m.

When an officer arrived, Shelhorse said, the cockatoo was lying in a cage in the back seat. The officer quickly got the car door open, but the bird was already dead.

Shelhorse said the temperature at the time was 90 degrees and the heat index was 97. The windows in the car were all rolled up except for the driver's window, which was open about an inch.

The owner returned to her car shortly after 6 p.m. and acknowledged that it was her bird, Shelhorse said. She was given a summons and released.

City police officer Tom Worthy, the city's chief animal control officer, said people regularly leave animals in hot cars during the summer months. Worthy said he's already testified in four cases this summer.

"We get these kinds of cases all summer long," Worthy said. "How long would you like to sit in a car with no air conditioning and no trees around?"

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