Animal activists in South Florida are outraged that a Miami business is keeping a guard dog on the roof their building while temperatures soar to near 100 degrees. And they're using social networking to distribute their message.
On Wednesday morning, a woman named Bev posted the following on the Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades' Facebook page:
The poor dog is sitting next to a brown and white dog kennel which is right under the cloud of steam. He is a large breed and is mostly white. We are doing everything possible to help this tortured animal! The authorities, including the fire department and MDAS say there is nothing they can do! The heat on this roof has got to be above 150 degrees during the day and unbearable! If this is not animal cruelty, what is!
Local 10 flew Chopper 10 above the building around 1 p.m., and found the dog walking around the roof. At times it sought shade from the sun, and when the chopper left, he was sitting inside a dog house with several dog bowls nearby.
Raudel Hernandez, a worker for G&G Produce, told Local 10 in Spanish the dog on the roof is named Burro. His counterpart, Milagro, lives inside the building. Hernandez said the dogs are there to protect the building.
Thieves have broken in on three occasions, stealing copper wire from the air conditioning units above, said Hernandez.
But some believe the security is going too far.
"Being on a roof in the sun all day, I just don't think it's right," said Cody Bond who works next door.
The Miami Fire Department said they didn't plan on getting involved because it's not against the law to keep a dog outside -- even if it's on a roof -- as long as it has food, water, and shelter.
According to Hernandez, it's the same as having a dog in a yard.
Nonetheless, animal activists are outraged over what some regard as animal cruelty, leaving an animal outside in the midday heat.
"No animal should live on top of a roof ... a scaulding hot roof," said Amy Roman Restucci with Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades.
Those who work at the company, however, say that they have tried everything to stop thieves from breaking into their building, including fences, barbed wire and security cameras. But the dogs are the only thing that have stopped the burglaries.
Meanwhile, the debate continues both on Facebook and via e-mail.