Buffalo woman to pay $100 fine after dog left in car suffers severe heat stroke

Sep. 5—A 38-year-old Buffalo woman will pay a $100 fine after her Boston terrier was treated for severe heat stroke after being left in a hot car in June of 2022.

Shermika A. Walker, 38, of Buffalo was sentenced Tuesday before Cheektowaga Town Court Justice John Wanat and ordered to pay a $100 fine within the next two weeks, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

On June 15, 2022, Cheektowaga Police and Cheektowaga Animal Control officers responded to a 911 call for a report of a dog in distress inside of a parked vehicle at a plaza on Union Road. When officers arrived at the scene, the dog was seizing and vomiting due to the heat inside of the vehicle.

Walker's dog, an 8-year-old male Boston Terrier mix, was removed from the vehicle and taken to a veterinary emergency clinic to be treated for severe heatstroke. The dog was briefly held in the custody of the SPCA Serving Erie County, but was returned to Walker.

On June 29, 2022, Flynn said his office requested that the court impose a no-animal order at Walker's arraignment, which was denied by the town justice previously assigned to the case.

After a two-hour, non-jury trial on Aug. 8, Judge Wanat convicted Walker of one count of Confinement of Companion Animals in Vehicles: Extreme Temperatures (violation under New York Agriculture and Markets Law).

Flynn commended the Cheektowaga Police Department, Town of Cheektowaga Animal Control, SPCA Serving Erie County and SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator William Heine for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Stephen C. Papia of the Justice Courts Bureau.