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Puppy dies after being left in hot van at Pasadena Animal Shelter, man claims

PASADENA, Texas – On Friday afternoon, the city of Pasadena said it's investigating the death of a 5-month-old puppy named Buddy after he died from heat stroke while under the care of the city's animal shelter.

The man, who claims the dog was his pet, said he wants justice for the puppy.

The city of Pasadena said it is investigating the incident and claims the man was fostering the puppy.

What happened?

Eduardo Vasquez posted on Facebook that his 5-month-old puppy, Buddy, died Friday morning while under the care of the Pasadena Animal Shelter.

Vasquez said he dropped Buddy off at the Pasadena Animal Shelter on Thursday morning.

He said the shelter was going to transfer Buddy to their vet to get him neutered.

Vasquez claims that one of the workers at the shelter left Buddy in a hot van for a long period of time.

He said Buddy died of heat stroke around 2 a.m. Friday.

Pasadena Animal Shelter response

Ken Donnell, the director of the Pasadena Animal Shelter, said the shelter is currently investigating what happened and that Buddy was with a foster family.

"We're devastated. We work hard every day to save lives, and when we lose one, it's not easy," Donnell said.

He said the usual employee who drives the animals to get spayed or neutered was out sick. Donnell said someone else filled in Thursday.

"It was an unusual circumstance. It was not the usual process that morning, which created some complications for us. No excuses, but let's let the investigation run its course," Donnell said.

The shelter said part of the investigation includes figuring out why Buddy was left in the van and for how long.

He said they have spoken with Vasquez.

"We were completely honest with him, and we understand his grief, we share it, but again, we've got to investigate to get down to what exactly happened and what we need to do to prevent it," Donnell said.

What the city is saying

Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner posted a statement Friday stating that the 5-month-old puppy that died of heat stroke was staying with a foster family.

"Our hearts go out to Buddy's foster family. I cannot fathom the heartbreak they must be feeling," said the mayor in the Facebook post.

Wagner said the shelter staff is devastated about what happened.

He said an investigation is taking place and that "potential disciplinary actions will be rendered" after the investigation.

IMPORTANT STATEMENT FROM Jeff Wagner, Mayor of Pasadena: ++++++++++++++++++++++++ Earlier today I was informed by the...

Posted by City of Pasadena, Texas - City Hall on Friday, August 30, 2019

What happened to the worker?

Donnell said the employee is still working at the shelter as the investigation continues.

Vasquez said in his Facebook post that he thinks the shelter is treating the incident as a mistake, whereas he believes it was negligence.