YULEE, Fla. — A North Carolina man was arrested Saturday after deputies say he left his dog in his truck in the parking lot of the Best Western hotel on State Road 200 in Yulee.
Willard Allen Swart, 68, was booked into the Nassau County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals.
According to the arrest report, witnesses found the dog in distress in the bed of Swart's truck, which is covered by a topper. The window of the topper was cracked three inches and there was no water in the dog's bowls, the report detailed.
The dog, a Labrador retriever, was "vomiting and seizing" when witnesses were removing the dog from the truck. Those witnesses began trying to cool the dog off using ice and water.
Swart was not there when the dog was removed from the truck and taken to 4 PAWS Animal Hospital. The report stated that a doctor at the animal hospital said the dog suffered from heat exhaustion and "there is a 50/50 chance of survival."
When Swart returned around 8 p.m., he said knew the hotel was pet-friendly and he knew he wouldn't be returning to the hotel until evening. He also told deputies the dog travels around the country with he and his wife and is a "hunting dog."
Swart also told deputies the dog "has a history of seizures and would be fine after about 45 minutes."
Swart was released from jail on Sunday on a $2,500 bond.
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