Ten animals rescued from hot truck incident at Washington Road motel

AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) – A week ago, 10 animals, including three kittens, six dogs and a turtle, were rescued from a hot truck parked outside the Red Roof Inn at 3030 Washington Road.

Now, after the animals have been turned over to Animal Services in the City of Augusta, all are alive, one receiving full medical treatment at a veterinary clinic, the other transferred to rescue, several being housed at the shelter of ‘Augusta Animal Services and another being released into the wild.

Last Thursday, October 14, two Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Red Roof Inn at 3030 Washington Road in response to a call about animals locked in a burning vehicle.

MPs arrived shortly after noon and, according to documents from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, found the vehicle in question, a blue 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, with the windows slightly cracked and the ignition turned off. At first it appeared that there were only three dogs in the truck, with the animals panting heavily.

After MPs used a vehicle lock kit to unlock the Ford, they discovered the vehicle was full of animals of all shapes, sizes and types, almost all of them in visible pain:

  • Two female orange tabby cats, both around 4 months old, both thin and dehydrated, covered in fleas
  • A male Siamese cat, also around 4 months old, who suffered from the same malnutrition and parasites as other kittens, but also with a partially amputated hind leg
  • Three pit bull mixes, two males and one female; one a brown and white male, the other black and white, and the female brown and brindle
  • Two Chihuahuas, two females, one 10 years old and the other 8 years old, both skinny and covered in fleas, both with severe dental disease

In total, there were six dogs and three cats found inside the vehicle, which the arrest warrants described as heavily soiled, and a turtle, which was discovered in the bed of the truck.

In addition to a profusion of animal droppings, there was reportedly no food or water found inside the vehicle.

Many animals relieved themselves after being released from the vehicle, all showing signs of dehydration, according to law enforcement documents.

Next, Richmond County animal control officers were called to the scene, while MPs contacted reception and reviewed surveillance footage which showed the animals had been left in the vehicle for more than 15 hours without let them go out, feed them, water them or treat them. , according to incident reports from MPs responding to the incident.

The last contact of the driver of the vehicle, according to the deputies who reviewed the surveillance video, had taken place at 9:30 p.m. the day before – it was not until the next day at noon that the deputies responded to the scene of animals locked in a hot vehicle.

Several of the animals are currently receiving medical treatment under the supervision of healthcare professionals from Augusta Animal Services.

The most serious case, which was specifically noted in the arrest warrant filed against the owner in the case, was that of the older Chihuahua.

The 10-year-old female was admitted to a veterinary clinic to receive treatment for extreme emaciation, including very advanced dental disease that left her lower jaw rubbery from lack of use, according to reports from Augusta Animal Services Supervised by a doctor of veterinary medicine. .

The youngest Chihuahua, 8, also suffered from severe dental disease and malnutrition and was transferred to a rescue service.

The male Siamese kitten will need to have an entire hind leg removed, according to the reporting vet, and is currently receiving care at the shelter.

Most of the other animals remain at the Augusta Animal Service shelter, while the brown and green turtle found in the back of the truck has been released into its natural habitat by animal control officers.

Victor Daniel Martinez, 29, told Richmond County lawmakers he had driven from Florida and had been living in his truck for a week with the animals, according to an incident report filed in the case.

Martinez’s home address was listed as Ocala, FL, but he was driving a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup with a Colorado plate. Martinez’s driver’s license was issued in New York State.

He remains in custody at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on a charge of aggravated animal cruelty.

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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