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Animal advocates hope for felony charges after dog left on balcony dies

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-11 23:55:13-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Officials with Salt Lake County Animal Services are pushing for animal cruelty charges after a German shepherd died after being left out in the heat without water.

Bergen the dog was on an apartment balcony for hours, and despite rescue efforts the canine died.

Investigators have sent the case to the Salt Lake City prosecutor’s office. James Lowe owned the dog before giving him to his sister. Lowe said he believes his sister’s live-in boyfriend abused the dog and left him on the balcony.

“I think it takes a whole lot of conscious thought to close a door, a glass door,” he said. “To not have any forethought for food, water, shelter, I think that takes some forethought or at least conscious thought.”

Investigators with Salt Lake County said they don’t believe the dog’s owner is culpable, and Lowe said he thinks the owner’s boyfriend could face animal cruelty charges.

Officials with the Humane Society of Utah and the Humane Society of the United States said they believe felony charges should be filed in the case. See the video above for their interviews.

A spokesperson with Salt Lake City said the decision regarding charges will be made early next week.