When you send your beautiful black Lab to an expert for training, you expect him to receive the highest quality of care. Michelle was excited for her guide dog and best friend, Milton, to learn an exciting new skill that would help her spend more time in a classroom.
Now her dreams are shattered and she is living through her worst nightmare.
The three-year-old black Labrador had returned to the Guide Dog Foundation so he could learn to sit still while his mother attends classes at the Helen Keller National Center. But while Milton was in the care of his trainers, he was left in a vehicle in their parking lot and forced to face the extreme heat inside.
Poor Milton was confined and locked in a van from 10am to 3:30pm on a day when the outside temperature reached over 90 degrees.
But Milton wasn’t just Michele’s guide dog for two beautiful years, he was also her best friend. His mother had spent 15 long years searching for the ideal dog before finally meeting Milton.
“He was my guardian angel. He was next to me the whole time. I’m so sad because I just don’t know how to move on without him,” she said.
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Michelle was born with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes hearing loss and an eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. Over time, her vision and hearing will continue to deteriorate, and at the moment there is no cure. Eventually she will be completely blind and deaf.
But thanks to Milton, Michelle had finally found the courage to spend time outside the home. His protection and presence was absolutely life changing for her.
“He gave Michelle a whole new life, a whole new perspective. She would never think of venturing outside and now we’re back to square one,” said Tom Krupa, Michelle’s husband.
In a statement from the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, they announced that the worker responsible for Milton’s death has been charged with animal cruelty and failing to provide adequate shelter and assistance.
But that doesn’t bring sweet Milton back to his mother, who misses him beyond measure.
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This terrible tragedy is another reminder of that never Leave a dog alone in a car, even if the windows are cracked. On a 90 degree day, the van would have reached 110 degrees inside after just 10 short minutes.
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