According to ABC affiliate WVEC, Delmonte Crawford, 19, told police that he fed the dogs and gave them water before leaving for work July 4. Temperatures that day reached 90 degrees, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Animal control became aware of the dogs when a neighbor called and reported the pets the afternoon of July 5. Officers said the dead pitbull mixes were found tied to a patio door in back of the townhouse where Crawford lives.
Authorities determined the cause of death to be heat stroke. In an interview with WVEC, Newport News Animal Services officer Christine Riley explained the hazards of excessive heat to dogs.
“Their bodies shut down. They start to have seizures, and then — pretty much — their insides cook,” Riley told the station.