HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico man is charged with locking a dog in a crate in the sweltering 92 degree heat Saturday, causing it to die of heat exposure. A neighbor called police 11 a.m., reporting the disturbing sight at the home on the 300 block of Buffalo Road. Henrico police discovered a pitbull, dead in the crate, in the backyard.
"I saw Henrico Animal Control pull up," said neighbor Jasper Peebles. "If you're going to have an animal, it shouldn't be tied up."
Investigators say there was a bucket of water just out of reach of the crate. Police say Walter Wilson, 33, told officers he was aware of the dead dog. However, police say a necropsy confirms the pitbull died of heat exposure. Wilson now faces misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Wilson refused to comment. However, his mother says her son isn't responsible for the dog's death.
"He did not leave a dog outside to die," said the dog owner's mother, who declined to give her name. "We have always had pitbull dogs. We have never left water outside of reach of a dog."
Court documents show Wilson was found guilty in 2011 for inadequate care of an animal, not giving water or shelter. Wilson is scheduled to face the judge in August.