Georgia man charged in dog's hot car death

Anthony Barry Griffith arrested on warrant, charged with felony animal cruelty

Anthony Barry Griffith
Anthony Barry Griffith

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – The recent death of a dog that authorities said was left locked inside its Georgia owner’s car is another reminder about leaving animals in vehicles when temperatures are hot and muggy. 

Early Wednesday morning, Anthony Barry Griffith, of St. George, was arrested on a warrant and booked into the Camden County jail on one count of felony aggravated cruelty to animals. 

According to the arrest warrant, an officer was dispatched at 2:26 p.m. Friday to Camden Campus of South Georgia Health Systems in reference to a dog left inside a vehicle. Animal Control was also called. 

When the officer arrived, she spoke with the woman who called 911. According to the warrant, the caller said she was dropping off her mother at 12:30 p.m. when she first noticed there was a black BMW parked outside the hospital with a dog inside. The caller said that, when she came back to the hospital at 1:52 p.m., the dog was still inside the car. She called police 31 minutes later.

The officer wrote in her report that the animal inside the car was a medium-sized dog. The officer also noted in her report that the driver’s side window was slightly open. 

According the warrant, the dog, which was sitting on the driver’s side seat, was panting very hard and twitching. The warrant also states the dog was bleeding around its gums. 

The officer said she entered the vehicle through the slightly opened window and opened the door to remove the animal. The officer noted in her report that the animal was hot to the touch, and the dog’s movements were very slow and delayed. 

According to the warrant, the officer and the woman who called 911 poured water on the dog to lower its body temperature and carried the dog into the hospital entrance, so it could try to recover in the air conditioning. The officer said the dog was unable to walk and remained immobile. 

The warrant states that an Animal Control officer arrived at the scene and determined the dog likely had a stroke and needed to be immediately transported to a vet. 

The officer said that, while they were assisting the dog, Griffith, its owner, came out of the hospital and said he had been inside getting a shot. 

The officer noted in her report that a weather source indicated the outside temperature was 91 degrees. 

According to the warrant, a veterinarian told the officer that the dog’s temperature was greater than 109 degrees and that the average temperature for a dog is between 100 and 102 degrees. The vet tried to bring the dog’s temperature down, but it was too late. The dog, which was described as a 4-year-old shepherd mix, died. 

The officer then contacted the hospital to get security footage of the scene. 

Five days later, Griffith was arrested on the warrant.  

He was released from jail Wednesday afternoon. 

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