Two dogs die from being left in truck during sweltering heat in Clarkston

Two dogs die from being left in truck during sweltering heat in Clarkston »Play Video
Transient charged with gross misdemeanor for leaving six dogs.
CLARKSTON, WA - A homeless man was charged with animal cruelty and then released Tuesday after two of his dogs died.

The dogs were found in a canopy-covered bed of a truck in the Clarkston Heights. John Heffron, 48, who's last known address is in Arizona, was reported to have had six dogs in his truck on Sunday.

According to the Asotin County Sheriff's Office, two of those dogs died and one is currently undergoing treatment from a local veterinarian for heat-related injuries, where it'll likely make a full recovery.

Heffron was initially charged with animal cruelty in the first-degree, which is a felony, however the prosecutor's office reduced it to a gross misdemeanor because there wasn't enough evidence that he intentionally locked them up.

"If he had put the dogs in the back of the truck in order to hurt them that would have been an act intending harm," said Asotin County Prosecutors Office Rule 9 Intern Andrew Rawlings.

Heffron is scheduled to make his first appearance in an Asotin County District courtroom Wednesday. Sheriff Ken Bancroft said that the three other dogs that did not have to be treated were released to Heffron. He said they've checked on the dogs to see if they're being properly cared for.