Linda J. Pegram (Photo: Chesterfield County Police)
CHESTER, VA—A Prince George County woman faces two felony counts of animal cruelty after two dogs were found dead inside her vehicle as police say she shopped at a Chester Walmart.
Linda J. Pegram, of Prince George, has been charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty.
"I didn't intentionally kill my animals; I love my animals," Linda Pegram told 8News.
Pegram told 8News she parked the car in a shaded area and had cracked the car windows for her 7-year-old Cocker Spaniel and 5-year-old Cockapoo, both of which she'd had since they were born.
Pegram said she was surprised to see police officers beside her car when she came out of the store.
Police responded at approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday to the Walmart at 12000 Iron Bridge Plaza for a report of a dog locked inside a hot vehicle.
When the officer arrived, they found two dogs that appeared to be in distress and forced entry in to the car. Both dogs were dead.
"I was devastated—my daughter was crying; I was crying," said Pegram.
In court, Pegram asked the judge to dismiss the charges against her, saying she'd never had any trouble with the law prior to this incident, and that there is no state law saying dogs cannot be kept in vehicles.
The judge refused to comment, simply encouraging Pegram to speak to her lawyer.
"I just made a mistake—a huge mistake," Pegram said of the incident.
The dogs were left in the vehicle for about an hour, according to police.