Buffalo Woman Arraigned on Animal Cruelty Charges for Leaving Dog Inside Hot Vehicle in Cheektowaga

Modified: June 29, 2022 2:19pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 37-year-old Shermika A. Walker of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Cheektowaga Town Justice James J. Speyer, Jr. on one count of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (Class “A” misdemeanor under New York Agriculture and Markets Law) and one count of Confinement of Companion Animals in Vehicles: Extreme Temperatures (violation under New York Agriculture and Markets Law).

It is alleged that on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, Cheektowaga Police and Cheektowaga Animal Control officers responded to a 911 call for a report of a dog inside of a parked vehicle at a plaza on Union Road. When officers arrived to the scene, they allegedly found a dog that appeared to be in severe distress inside of the defendant’s vehicle. The dog was allegedly seizing and vomiting due to the heat inside of the vehicle. The defendant was charged and issued an appearance ticket to be arraigned this morning.

An 8-year-old Boston Terrier mix was removed from the vehicle and taken to the Great Buffalo Veterinary Emergency Clinic on Genesee Street for treatment. The dog allegedly had a high temperature and exhibited signs of severe heatstroke. The dog is currently in the custody of the SPCA Serving Erie County where it continues to receive treatment.

Walker is scheduled to return on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for further proceedings. She was released on her own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail.

If convicted of all charges, Walker faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

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

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the Animal Cruelty Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.