When you send your beautiful black lab to an expert for training, you expect them 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 be able to spend more time inside a classroom.
Now, her dreams are shattered, and she’s living her worst nightmare.
The three-year-old black lab had returned to the Guide Dog Foundation so he could learn how to sit still while his mom is attending classes at the Helen Keller National Center. But while Milton was in the care of his trainers, he was forgotten in a vehicle in their parking lot and forced to face the extreme heat within.
Poor Milton was crated and trapped inside their van from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on a day when the temperature outside reached upwards of 90 degrees.
But Milton wasn’t only Michele’s guide dog for two beautiful years, he was also her best friend. His mom had spent 15 long years looking for the ideal dog before finally meeting Milton.
“He was my guardian angel. He was next to me all the time. I’m so sad, because I just don’t know how I’m going to go on without him,” she said.
Michelle was born with Usher syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes hearing loss and an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Over time, her vision and hearing will continue to deteriorate, and as of right now, there is no cure. Eventually, she will be completely blind and deaf.
But because of Milton, Michelle had finally gained the courage to spend time outside the home. His protection and presence were absolutely life-changing for her.
“He gave Michelle a whole new lease on life, a whole new outlook. She never, ever would even think of venturing outside and now we’re back to square one,” said Tom Krupa, Michelle’s husband.
In a statement made by the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, they announced that the employee responsible for Milton’s death has been charged with animal cruelty and failing to provide proper shelter and aid.
But that doesn’t bring sweet Milton back to his mom, who misses him beyond measure.
This terrible tragedy serves as yet another reminder to never leave a dog alone in a car, even with the windows cracked. On a 90-degree day, the van would have reached 110 degrees inside after just 10 short minutes.
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