Orange Village-A South Russell man faces animal cruelty charges after police said he left his dogs alone in a van for 6 hours.
Orange Village police were called to REI parking lot just after 1 a.m. Sunday to check on two dogs left in a vehicle. When officers arrived, they noticed the dogs, 11 and 12 year old Jack Russel Terrier mixes, were panting and their tongues were hanging out of their mouths.
The dog’s owner was located in the area of Park Avenue and 4th Street a short time later and was brought to the location to get the dogs.
Michael Herpst told police the dogs were in the car because he planned on taking them to the Vet to be checked out for kennel cough. According to the police report, when the officer asked if he thought it was acceptable to leave the dogs in the vehicle, Herpst said since it was under 80 degrees, it was safe to leave them in the van with the windows cracked. The officer explained that the temperature was 81 degrees and completely unsafe and terrible for the dogs’ health to leave them in the hot temperature.
Officers say Herpst also smelled of alcohol and was intoxicated.
Upon further investigation, it was revealed the dogs were left in the car alone for 6 hours. Michael Herpst also admitted he hadn’t checked on the dogs during this time. The dogs were given water at the scene.
Michael Herpst was issued a summons to appear in court on animal cruelty charges. He was picked up from the location by family.
He is due in court Friday.