Aurora woman charged with animal cruelty after dog dies of heat stroke

Krystle Noriega | Aurora police

An Aurora woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges Tuesday after her dog died of heat stroke in her yard last month in the west suburb.

Krystle Noriega, 34, is charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to an animal, according to Aurora police and Kane County court records.

Someone called Aurora Animal Control and Care at 2:37 p.m. on July 10 to report a pit bull that collapsed while tied to a post in the front yard of a home in the 900 block of Fourth Avenue, according to a police report. The caller said the dog was tied on a 6-foot leash in direct sunlight and 96-degree heat with no shade, shelter, food or water nearby.

The witness told authorities he'd seen the dog tied up since at least 10:30 a.m.

An animal control officer arrived about 3 p.m. and found the dog lying dead on its side in the driveway, police said. A second dog was nearby in an enclosed kennel with a tarp draped over the top. That dog was panting heavily and also had no food or water.

The officer knocked on the door to the home but got no answer, according to the report. The officer eventually spotted a young girl through a first-floor window and asked the girl to get an adult.

The officer spoke to Noriega before removing the dead dog, police said. The other dog was allowed to remain at the home.

A necropsy performed on the dog "determined that the cause of death was consistent with heat stroke," police said.

In subsequent interviews, Noriega told police she had worked an overnight shift on the day of the incident and that her daughter had tied the dog to the post outside so she could keep sleeping, according to the report.

Noriega was released on a personal recognizance bond Tuesday, according to court records. She is scheduled to appear in court again for a hearing on Sept. 5.