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Dog dies inside hot car

A tourist from Michigan was arrested on animal cruelty charges Monday after leaving his two dogs inside a scorching minivan parked near the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the District.

Rosie, an 8-year-old Chihuahua, died of heat stress after being inside the minivan for more than an hour, said Sabrina Fang, a spokeswoman for the Washington Humane Society. The dog had been left inside a basic plastic storage bin and not a cage designed for dogs, Fang said. The bin's solid walls inhibited any kind of air flow, Fang added.

Pebbles, left, and Rieff. (Washington Humane Society)

The second dog, a 15-year-old Beagle mix named Pebbles, was kept inside a crate made for dogs. She was treated for heat stress at an animal hospital, and was expected to be released today, Fang said.

Washington Humane Society officials say they are seeing more dogs in distress inside hot cars this summer, especially dogs from out of town. More tourists seem to be leaving more pets inside cars, unaware of how quickly the temperatures can rise.

"It has been a very hot summer and we have had too many dogs die," said Scott Giacoppo, chief programs officer at the Washington Humane Society.

Metropolitan Police arrested Kenneth Reiff on Monday, and his daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective Services, Humane Society officials said. Both had been inside the museum. Reiff could not be immediately reached for comment.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  August 31, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , The District  
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I am not an animal lover by any means but he needs his behind kicked and made to sit in that same van for two hours. I had to lock a lady up last Saturday for leaving her child in the car and going in the store. Her excuse was she forgot. I said well I'm not forgetting to lock you up.

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | August 31, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

This story is very sad...but i am pleased that Pebbles will be fine... not much of a dog lover myself... but that is not the is a living and breathing creature and people should be more considerate of their animals...or why in the world do you get them in the first place.!! @ bigheadbull2... yes... i am so glad that you were there!! She deserved to be locked up!! I forgot? are you serious! wow.... people!

Posted by: ReflectionofLyfe | August 31, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Whoo boy! here it comes!

Posted by: jbworldwide | August 31, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

What an idiot! The surviving dog should not be released to him. And why take an old dog on a vacation???

(LOVE it that the spokesperson for the Wash. Humane Society is named FANG!)

Posted by: DecafDrinker | August 31, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DCFanatic | August 31, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

As I see it, there are three victims here: two dogs and one child. Although the story does not mention the age of Mr. Reiff's daughter, I cannot imagine how scary it must be for any child (and particularly a small child) to see your parent taken into custody and to be handed over to a government agency in an unfamiliar city. If he is a better parent than he is a pet owner, that alone should cause Mr. Reiff to feel a great deal of remorse.

Posted by: HImom | August 31, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay, let's just put him in a plastic box and leave him in the back of a minivan for a couple of days. If he's still alive after that, give him a ticket home.


Posted by: waterfrontproperty | August 31, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

bigheadbull2, we are animals. We should love each other (in a platonic way, of course, between species).

Posted by: johng1 | August 31, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"It has been a very hot summer and we have had too many dogs die," said Scott Giacoppo, chief programs officer at the Washington Humane Society.

Um, even ONE dog is too many, IMHO.

Yeah, I'd like to take my dog w/me on vacay too. But even hotels that accept pets don't allow you to leave them in the room all day when you aren't there. So, if you are doing any kind of touring, what's the point of taking the dog? The animals are much safer & much more comfy at their own home, being looked after by a pet nanny, or at a friend's home, or at a kennel. So pay the $20 bucks a day - everyone will come home safe & happy.

Now this richard has killed a dog, injured another, traumatized his daughter & gotten himself arrested. What a nice story for her to tell on the first day of school.

Posted by: PorthosAD | August 31, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Tragic. So sad.
Laura Quebbemann

Posted by: LauraQuebbemann | August 31, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

HImom... In my case I made sure the little boy did not see his mommy get taken away in fact I let her call a family memeber to pick him up. The fear he must have felt being lock in the car alone would have been bad enough without him seeing me take her in. I would never do that I try to use wisdom and compassion at all times.
Johngn1... you are right and as someone who grew up with dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots, and a snake..the only animal I want to see should have a picture of col. sanders on the bucket. LOL One love we should all strive for it.

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | August 31, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I am not an animal lover by any means but he needs his behind kicked and made to sit in that same van for two hours. I had to lock a lady up last Saturday for leaving her child in the car and going in the store. Her excuse was she forgot. I said well I'm not forgetting to lock you up.

You sound like a grade A-DBag. Not a surprise at all you're a cop and take pleasure in locking people up. Good for you, you were to stupid to get a real job so you leach off tax-payers money while doing nothing but eating donuts and handing out speeding tickets. Hope you enjoy that $35k a year salary, b/c you're prob never gonna aspire to anything better than that. Im not saying all cops are worthless, but judging by your comments about taking pleasure in locking people definitely seem worthless. No wonder no-one in our society respects policemen

Posted by: KidM3 | August 31, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

It would appear that Mr. Rieff of Clinton Township may have been in town for the Tea Party rally.

You see, Ken Reiff ran for a Michigan State House in 2001 for Macomb County, MI. During that campaign, he was described as a "GOP Activist." At the time he was 40.

You can see it here on a gun enthusiast board:

Of course, that could just be a timing coincidence.

Anyway, it appears as though Ken (aka Hot Looking Ken Doll) might have a mySpace page:

Posted by: washingtondc5 | August 31, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

All you high and mighty libs....make me laugh. It is sad, but for you all to start up on a venue of revenge is also ridiculous and contributes nothing. How about the human society doing ads on TV across America about the dangers of leaving pets in cars? You NEVER see those ads. You do about drunk driving, or drugs, or a number of other things, but not about pets dying from the heat.

Let's start with some things that are more practical than "let's leave HIM in a crate and see how HE does" with your stupid righteousness. I'm sure, in his own way, he loves those animals. You can see it in his eyes that he realizes his utter stupidity. Now let's try to EDUCATE people.

Uggghh. Self-righteous pukes.

Posted by: stinkyliberals | September 1, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Yankees. The puke is probably moving here.

Posted by: SSTK34 | September 1, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Send the idiot to North Korea.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | September 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow someone took down my response to the dum dum you said I only make 35k a year on in the WOPO

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | September 1, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

2 words: Hot Dog

Posted by: nuke41 | September 1, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I am not surprised there are so many idiot dog owners. My neighbors can not control their dogs. I find poop where my kids play all the time. This tourist should go to jail for at least a year. Laws always seem to favor drivers.

Posted by: jercha | September 1, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

bigheadbull2 - I commend you for your job as a police officer that other person complaing on here is a loser. There are bad people in every profession and I would take pleasure in locking up idiots too.

Posted by: TG10 | September 1, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a 'dog hugger' but dude should have his nutz stomped.

Posted by: kahlua87 | September 1, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"washingtondc5" - your comment is no better than the typical racist garbage that appears here whenever a suspect's name sounds Hispanic, or when a crime happens in DC or PGC. And I say that as someone who has nothing but disdain for Glen Beck.
And "stinkyliberals" - what makes you think all the comments suggesting that the man should be subjected to heinous punishment are coming from liberals? Isn't YOUR position - that people are inherently good but need to be educated - the more stereotypically "liberal" one?

Posted by: Rachelva | September 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Lock the owner of the dog in a hot car and leave him there....Hope the dog gets a new loving home!

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

tg10.. thank you i ment no disrespect in my post. I love what I do and I am one of the good po po. all of us are not power hungry glory craving leeches. Thank you for your support. I let waaay more people off the hook than I arrest. Its called compassion and I hope if I should ever need it someone shows me some.

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | September 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

What happened to those animals breaks my heart. It scares me to think how someone this clueless could be a responsible pet owner or, for that matter, parent. Laws against animal abuse should be tougher and come with jail time, fines and public service in animal shelters. Maybe that will get the idea across that pets, like children, are living, breathing entities that require food, water and attention. This guy should not get the surviving dog back until he can demonstrate he is responsible enough to own it. I'm sure the experience was also very traumatic for his child.

And for "stinkyliberal" your obnoxious little post oozed self-rightousness and accomplished nothing. Educate you say? A local news network mentions EVERY day during the summer NOT to leave pets and kids in cars during hot weather during their newscast. Several chains have signs posted on their doors as you go in warning of leaving children and pets in cars. But it still happens more frequently than you would think possible. Education only works if people listen. Some people are too stupid to exist.

Posted by: Frustratededucator | September 1, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It's Obama's fault!

Posted by: Hump1 | September 1, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This is all Obama and the democrats fault!! These tourist should have been able to afford a kennel or doggie day care but Obamas socialist health care plan has made the deficit soo high that this guy could not afford to leave his pets home in this economy. That was my wacky right wing blogger impression folks. How was it?

Posted by: ged0386 | September 1, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe these museums need to be more pet friendly... it the tourists could have brought their pets in this could have been avoided.......

Posted by: mickeymoe | September 1, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, this kind of tragedy happens all the time. Every year, dogs die after being intentionally locked inside cars. These tragic deaths are entirely preventable.

United Animal Nations (UAN) operates the My Dog is Cool Campaign to let people know that leaving a dog in a car for even “just a few minutes” may be too long. People who want to learn more about this issue, and educate others, can find downloadable fliers and brochures on our Web site:

Posted by: UAN1987 | September 2, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

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