Dog dies after being locked in hot car at Niagara Falls State Park on Memorial Day, owner charged

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A dog died after being locked in a vehicle at Niagara Falls State Park on Monday.

The dog’s owner, Kartheek Vemulapalli, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, has been charged with confining an animal in extreme temperatures and failure to provide proper sustenance under New York State’s Agricultural and Markets laws.

NYS Parks Police responded to the call around 12:55 p.m. Monday.

An initial attempt to enter the vehicle with unlocking tools was unsuccessful. The driver window was then broken and the dog was removed.

Officers tried to cool the dog down until Niagara Falls Police Animal Rescue arrived on scene and took it to the Lockport Road SPCA.

“The NYS Park Police remind everyone visiting state parks this summer that leaving your animal in an enclosed vehicle for even a short time can cause distress,” NYS Parks Police said in a press release. “This applies even if the outside temperature is mild as it was for this case. The interior temperature of your car can quickly rise to a dangerous level. Dogs are welcome in most areas of state parks as long as they are leashed and up to date on vaccinations. We welcome patrons to visit state parks with their pets but only if it can be done safely.”

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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