A Manatee County Animal Services worker was charged with Cruelty to Animals after leaving a dog insight a van overnight.
Fredrick A. Browning arrived back at the office at the end of his shift on May 17 and unloaded two dead dogs he had collected late that afternoon. But he left a third dog he had picked up earlier inside the van.
Another employee came in the next morning to find the dog dead still inside the van.
An investigation determined the dog died of an apparent heat stroke.
Browning told investigators he was in a rush and forgot to take the animal out of the car.
He turned himself in Thursday to the Manatee County Jail.
The county released the following statement regarding the incident:
Manatee County Animal Services (MCAS) can confirm the timeline of events detailed in today’s press release from Manatee Sheriff’s Office regarding an animal cruelty case involving a former MCAS employee. On the same day MCAS staff discovered the deceased animal, MCAS staff informed Manatee Sheriff’s Office of the incident and requested a criminal investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office subsequently opened an investigation, and on May 22 the employee was put on unpaid, administrative leave. He later resigned from MCAS on May 25. Since the investigation began, Manatee County Animal Services has fully cooperated with the Sheriff’s Office.
Immediately following the incident, MCAS Chief Sarah Brown implemented a new policy to avoid a similar lapse in the future. Now, when an MCAS officer returns his or her vehicle at the end of a work shift, a second employee does a thorough inspection to ensure no animals remain in the vehicle.