When one Missouri woman left her car in a hot parking garage to enter a casino, she was gambling with a lot more than just her money: the lives of 27 animals were at stake. Lori Pellin of St. Charles was arrested after concerned passersby noticed 25 cats and 2 dogs packed inside a filthy car, according to Today's THV.
The animals were tightly crammed into cages and though the windows were cracked, the summer heat could have led to a tragic result if a casino guest hadn't spotted the pets and called the police soon after Pellin arrived.
"The interior of the vehicle was very cluttered with debris,” Lt. Mike Ayers told Today's THV.
“There was car food strewn throughout the vehicle. There was no water. Obviously the interior of the vehicle was covered with cat and animal feces."
It took police 2 hours to locate Pellin inside the casino. She told officers that she was homeless and had gone inside the casino to use a computer so she could find an apartment – but also, she admitted, to gamble a little bit. She was charged with two counts of animal abuse.
Luckily, all of the animals survived and are now safe at the St. Charles city animal shelter, where they will soon be available for adoption.
While 27 animals in a single car is an extreme case, even one is too many in the sweltering summer heat. When it's 85 degrees outside, temperatures can quickly soar to over 120 degrees inside a car, regardless of whether the windows are cracked.
The website MyDogisCool.com offers a chart that shows just how high temperatures can go, and offers safety tips for traveling with your pets in warm weather.