A Bellevue woman who left two dogs in a hot car for hours will spend a year in jail after being found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty resulting in death.
Ashley Alberts-Roach, 38, could have been sentenced to up to two years on each count. Sarpy County Judge Stefanie Martinez instead sentenced her to a year in jail on each, saying she could serve the sentences at the same time. Alberts-Roach also was ordered not to own a dog for 30 years.
Paco, a 4-year-old black-and-white pit bull-Labrador mix, and Rosie, a 3-year-old brown pit bull mix, belonged to Alberts-Roach’s boyfriend, police said.
Alberts-Roach put the dogs inside a car around 10 a.m. Aug. 5, 2016, because she didn’t want them in her house, prosecutor Gage Cobb said. Her 11-year-old daughter later told her the dogs were in distress, Cobb said, but Alberts-Roach left them there.
Alberts-Roach checked on the dogs at 2:15 p.m., police said, and realized the dogs were not moving. She moved the dogs to the garage to try to cool them with water, police said, but she could not revive them.
Bellevue police were called to the family home about 3:15 p.m. that day and found the two dogs dead inside the garage.
“We’re pleased with the sentence,” said Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society. “It wasn’t the maximum, but it was something for her to think about while she sits in jail. It’s a tragic situation based on the stupid actions of the defendant.”
A group of more than a dozen people, most of whom were wearing humane society T-shirts, attended the hearing.