It’s probably not a good place to leave a dog, locked in a vehicle, in front of the DA’s office. It’s not a good idea to do it anywhere.

— Assistant District Attorney Patrick Abitbol



Patricia Marie Williams and her fiancé Andrew Timothy Montag had just gotten their marriage license at the Rogers County Courthouse and were on their way back to the parking lot when she was arrested.

Williams, 24, was charged with cruelty to animals after County officials discovered a 13-year-old dog locked in her vehicle.

According to Investigator Joe Garber, he was dispatched to the courthouse after a call came in regarding a dog in a vehicle in the parking lot.

“When I got there, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Abitbol was standing next to the truck, and he said they had been standing there for about 15 minutes,” Garber said.

Garber added that the window on the driver’s door was cracked about two inches, and Abitbol and other employees from the District Attorney’s office had been throwing ice in for the dog.

“They were flipping ice chips inside the truck through the crack in the window and the dog was just scarfing them up,” Garber said.

“You could tell around his mouth that he was getting hot,” Abitbol said.

When Williams emerged from the courthouse, with her fiancé, she was immediately arrested. According to Abitbol, they gave the dog some water at his office, and the dog was then taken to The Ark, in Claremore, where it was examined and treated for heat stress. The dog was later released to a member of Williams’ family, Abitbol said.

Temperatures reached 103 degrees Wednesday afternoon, with a heat index of 106. Officials across the state have warned motorists not to leave anyone — including animals — in vehicles for any period of time.

Rogers County Undersheriff Barry Lamb said regardless of what or who is left in a vehicle, his department will respond.

“If it was a child, we would certainly respond,” he said. “But a dog is a living creature and temperatures inside a vehicle get very hot.”

Abitbol added that leaving any living thing in a hot car is dangerous.

“It’s probably not a good place to leave a dog locked in a vehicle in front of the DA’s office,” he said. “It’s not a good idea to do it anywhere.”

Williams posted a $2,000 bond Wednesday, and since cruelty to animals is a felony, she faces up to five years in prison or one year in the county jail, and a $500 fine. In November, that fine will be raised to $5,000, according to state statutes.

Contact Krystal J. Carman, newsed@swbell.net