Woman Stands Trial After Dog Died in Car in MBTA Garage

Essex County prosecutors argue that Courtney Casey's actions make her guilty of animal cruelty

A Long Island woman is standing trial after her dog died in her vehicle while she toured downtown Salem, Mass. in October 2017, the Salem News reports. 

Prosecutors say Courtney Casey, who was living in Massachusetts at the time, knew of the risk to her emotional support dog when she left it in her Jeep for five hours in an MBTA garage. 

The dog likely died after choking to death on its own vomit, which can happen to certain breeds after a meal. Salem News reports that Casey’s lawyer argued there is no evidence his client knew about the risk of this happening to her pet.

One area of contention is if the dog passed away from overheating. According to Salem News, Casey’s lawyer called the veterinarian who determined cause of death, who testified that heat could not be proven to be a factor.

The lawyer also called two thermal science engineers to the stand who testified that the car would not have exceeded 72 degrees in the parking garage that day.

Meanwhile, the Essex County prosecutor reportedly reminded the judge that animal cruelty is a general intent crime. Therefore, the prosecutor said, it wouldn't need to be proven that Casey intended for the dog to die.

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