Suffolk SPCA: Guide Dog Foundation employee arrested after dog left in company van died
An employee at the Guide Dog Foundation in Smithtown was arrested after a dog was found dead in one of their company vans.
Detectives at the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals arrested Jodi Meyers, 51, of Lake Grove.
Meyers was taking care of Milton, a 3-year-old black Labrador retriever who died after being trapped in a van for 5 1/2 hours.
The incident happened in July when Meyers took the dog out for training but allegedly left him inside a crate in a work van when it was 90 degrees outside.
Meyers has been charged with failing to provide proper shelter and air.
Milton was Michelle Krupa's guide dog and best friend. She owns Shelby's Kitchen in Bellport, but since the loss, she barely goes out.
Her husband Tom Krupa has been taking care of the business.
"One of the people that came in and painted our mural, painted Milton's photo in the back - that's how much he was loved," Tom Krupa says.
Tom and Michelle Krupa say Milton is now their guardian angel. They do plan to get another guide dog in the future.
Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross says they handle a lot of cases with animals trapped in cars, but this one is different.
"There's got to be some protocol - some procedure to make sure when a person is transporting an animal in a case like this -that it is checked carefully - that they go through the vehicle - there's got to be something that's automatic," Gross says.
The Guide Dog Foundation released a statement to News 12, reading in part, "The Suffolk County SPCA made us aware of their investigation and we are cooperating. The health, safety and well-being of the dogs in our care, as well as the people we serve continue to be our top priority."
It's unclear if Meyers is still employed at the organization.
News 12 is told by the SPCA that Meyers has not disclosed what she was doing during the five hours while the dog was stuck in the van.
Meyers is expected to appear in court next month.