Vigil held for 10 German shepherds that died after overheating on drive from O'Hare to Michigan City

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, August 4, 2023
Vigil held for 10 dogs that died from overheating during car ride
A vigil was held for 10 German shepherds that died after overheating during a drive from O'Hare to Michigan City, in Lake Station last week.

LAKE STATION, Ind. (WLS) -- A vigil was held Thursday night in Lake Station for ten dogs that died from heat stroke last week.

The German Shepherds were being taken from O'Hare to an Indiana training facility when the air conditioning unit in the back of the truck failed.

The Humane Society of Hobart had been called to the scene to help, and said the incident has shaken the community to its core.

Police described a heartbreaking scene when they arrived at a Lake Station gas station Thursday evening, with a report that 19 German shepherds became overheated while being transported to a training facility. Ten of them died.

The Humane Society of Hobart was called to the scene and shot video.

Police said the driver, who picked the dogs up from a flight at O'Hare airport and was bound for a training facility in Michigan City, was unaware that the air conditioning in the cargo area of the truck had failed in the sweltering heat.

Humane society officials said when they arrived to help, they were turned away.

"We had cooling vans and animal care and control vehicles ready to transport, and, because we were asking for that paperwork, it seemed to make the owner mad, and he said he would not allow us to help," said Jenny Webber, with the Hobart Humane Society.

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"This is truly a sad day for all of us," Webber said.

Five of the German shepherds being transported remain hospitalized. The humane society is taking custody of them, and said the owner is welcome to come pick them up if he can show the proper paperwork.

PETA and the Human Society of Hobart have called for an independent investigation into the deaths.

Lake Station Police Department has not responded to comment on the situation.