Dog dies after veterinarian leaves him in vehicle overnight

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 11, 2018

Dr. Martin McLaughlin, a veterinarian in Trenton, admitted to 7 Action News that he left his 2-year-old lab in a hot vehicle overnight. Trigger was found dead the next morning. 

"He was more than Marty's dog. He came to work with him everyday," said one vet tech who had worked for Dr. McLaughlin for several years, but quit Friday after hearing about Trigger's tragic death. "It was really hard for me. I lost it."

When 7 Action News first contacted McLaughlin about the death of his dog, he said it was embarrassing but that he didn't think being left in the hot vehicle caused his dog to die. 

McLaughlin claimed Trigger was having some stomach issues the day before. McLaughlin did not respond to a question about what treatment he was administering to the dog if he was having stomach issues. 

McLaughlin said he just buried his dog after deciding to not have a necropsy done to find out what caused his death.

"Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes," according to Peta. "Dogs aren’t equipped to handle such high temperatures. Unlike humans, they can’t sweat to cool themselves off—and while you can take off your jacket or roll up your sleeves, dogs wear permanent fur coats 365 days a year. Animals can suffer and die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, even with the car's windows partially rolled down."

 Dr. McLaughlin's judgment has been called into question before. He served time in jail for a 2010 case out of Huron County in which the veterinarian pleaded guilty to Malicious Destruction of Property after he was accused of being intoxicated and opening fire on someone's vehicle.

McLaughlin also pleaded guilty to Improper Possession of a Firearm and Resisting/Obstructing a Police Officer in Wayne County in 2001. In that case, charges of Operating While Intoxicated, Alcohol/Open Container in Vehicle, and Malicious Destruction of Fire or Police Property were dismissed.

Huron Township Police Chief Everette Robbins said they have received calls regarding the dog's death, but that they needed someone to file a complaint before they could launch an investigation. 

Wednesday afternoon, someone had gone to police to file a complaint.