UPDATE: Woman convicted of cruelty after dog dies in hot car defends herself
A judge has convicted a woman on two counts of animal cruelty after she left her dog in parked car on a hot day in July.
Marina Palakartcheva, 34, was arrested by police in 2011 moments after officers had smashed the window of her car to free the dog which had collapsed inside the vehicle.
A Montreal police officer testified at her trial that she felt a blast of heat when she opened the door and the dog, a five-year-old male bulldog was lying on its side, with its tongue hanging out and panting furiously.
The animal was rushed to a veterinarian but died later.
Palakartcheva testified that she had stopped off at the pharmacy and grocery store and had only left the animal in the vehicle for about 30 minutes but an eyewitness who videotaped the police rescue said she was gone for at least an hour.
Palarkatcheva told CJAD 800 News that it was a devastating loss for her family, insisting she would never abuse an animal much less her dog, Ares who's she had since he was a pup. The mother of four said she left car windows open and parked in the shade.
Palarkatcheva said she suspects Ares was sick at the time.
"It happened in a really short period of time, it's impossible that it was the heat. I could not abandon an animal who was the brother of my son. It was my little son's dog," said Palarkatcheva who called CJAD 800 News to defend herself after reading the story on cjad.com.
The judge did not believe her version of events, saying this sad story shows that in the summer heat, you should never leave a pet alone in a car.
Palakartcheva was acquitted of the charges in 2014 but the crown appealed and won and she was convicted during the new trial.
Palakartcheva faces a fine of $10,000 and 18 months in prison.
A sentence hearing will be held in September.