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Woman charged in dogs' deaths

CHILOQUIN — An Eagle Point woman must appear in court in Klamath County to face animal-abuse charges that accuse her of leaving three dogs to overheat and die in a hot truck last week.

Alice Violet Taylor, 65, has been charged with six counts of first-degree animal abuse, according to court records. She is due in Klamath County Circuit Court on June 26 for arraignment. The Klamath County District Attorney's Office filed the charges Monday.

Gale McMahon of Klamath County Animal Control said three counts are for allowing the animals to suffer, while the other three are for allowing them to die.

On June 2, Taylor drove to Melita's Restaurant, in the 39000 block of Highway 97 in Chiloquin, at 9:15 a.m. She went inside the restaurant and allegedly left three rotweillers, a 5-year-old male and two 1-year-olds — one male, one female — in her truck.

Several hours passed, and the outside temperature climbed to 81 degrees, but inside the truck it was at least 50 degrees hotter, officials estimated.

Rhonda Velasquez, manager at M&C Towing in Klamath Falls, said she and company owner Chuck Rarrick were called to the scene to break the dogs out. When they arrived, they were unable to see through the truck windows at first, because condensation had fogged them up. Once the truck was open, Rarrick tried to cool the animals with water and give them CPR, but to no avail.

"It was almost like someone had thrown them in the water and then thrown them in the truck," Velasquez said. "They were that wet."

Klamath County Animal Control also responded to the scene. Taylor said she had been inside Melita's making telephone calls while she left the dogs outside.

"It really devastated me to see something like that," Velasquez said.

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge said Taylor could face up to three years in jail if convicted. Taylor could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.