Prosecutors say a Wyoming officer accused of leaving a police dog to die in a patrol car was charged with a misdemeanor rather than a more serious felony because there was no evidence he intended to kill the animal.
Authorities say Mills police officer Zachary Miller left the dog in the car for more than six hours on July 9 when outside temperatures reached 86 degrees. The car was running but the air conditioning was off and windows were rolled up.
Miller pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty and could face up to six months in jail if convicted.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported Tuesday that District Attorney Michael Blonigen said a charge of felony animal abuse would require prosecutors to show Miller acted intentionally, and there was no evidence of that.
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com