Shelby Pickard says she adores her 5-month-old puppy Kilo and did not intend any harm when she left him in her car with the windows rolled down and a bowl of water at his side.
BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -
A Springhill, Louisiana woman is facing a backlash of nasty threats on social media after a recent shopping trip at Pierre Bossier Mall ended with 21-year-old Shelby Pickard in handcuffs, accused of animal cruelty.
Bossier City police say she left her puppy in a hot, locked car last Friday. Pickard returned to her car while police were still on scene and was arrested on the spot. Pickard says regardless of what happened, the threats of bodily harm on social media are unwarranted, "They just want to bash you and bash you, like they know you or something, so it really bothers me, you don't know me, you don't know what happened," she said.
Shelby Pickard says she adored her little puppy Kilo, that she only had for a few hours. She claims she wouldn't do anything to hurt it, that's why she says she brought the puppy with her to Pierre Bossier Mall. "I was trying to do the right thing by not leaving it home alone at five weeks old," said Pickard.
She says before running into the mall for a bite to eat, Pickard claims she prepped her car to try to make her puppy feel comfortable. "All four windows were down 2-3 inches at least," and adds she also left food and water. She says she didn't think the temperature outside was a problem, "It was 7:30, it was shaded, the sun was not out beaming on none of the cars,"
After Pickard went into the mall, a woman heard the dog yelping and notified authorities. Police say when they arrived, it was 91 degrees outside. "The temperature inside the vehicle was much hotter. They could just tell when they opened the door it was stifling inside," said Bossier City Police Spokesman Mark Natale.
Police say Pickard was in the mall for close to an hour, she claims it was only 30 minutes. When Pickard did get back to her car, she was arrested on an animal cruelty charge. She spent nearly 8 hours in jail. KSLA News 12 asked Bossier Police if it is standard for someone to go to jail in this type of situation. "It's all up to the officers discretion. In Louisiana law, officers have the discretion, whether or not to cut somebody a ticket or take them to jail," said Natale. Pickard insists she isn't guilty of the animal cruelty charge because never intended to hurt or try to kill her puppy. "It was pure accident, a mistake that I didn't even know was dangerous," she said.
The puppy has been placed with an animal rescue group who will adopt it out, something Pickard doesn't want to see happen. "Yes I want my dog back, I would love to have my dog back," she said.
Pickard has her first court date in September. She says she has an attorney and plans to fight to get the charge dropped.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-07-30 09:57:07 GMT
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