LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - Livingston Police officers arrested an East Texas couple on cruelty to animal charges Tuesday afternoon after they allegedly left their dog in their car for at least 20 minutes while they went grocery shopping.
Billy Ray Parker, 50, and Delois Jean Schumaker, 43, are still being held in the Polk County Jail on a charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. Parker was also charged with driving without a valid license and failure to vaccinate dog.
Bail was set at $2,500 each for Parker and Schumaker.
Lt. Matt Parrish, a spokesman for the Livingston Police Department, said LPD officers were dispatched out to a local grocery store at approximately 2:12 p.m. to check out a report that someone had left a dog in a hot car.
A Lab-mix breed dog was left in a car with the windows just barely cracked, Parrish said. He said the outside temperature was 96 degrees at that time and that the temperature inside a car can easily increase by 30 degrees within a 20 minute time span.
Parrish said the LPD officers waited until the couple came out of the store, and arrested them at the scene for cruelty to non-livestock animals.
The Lab-mix dog was placed into the custody of the Livingston Police Department's animal control officer. Later, the dog was released into the custody of Parker and Schumaker's relatives.
Parrish said this incident was the second one in about a week. Another couple could be facing similar animal cruelty charges because they left their dog in a hot car while they went shopping at the Livingston Walmart, he said.