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People keep leaving children and dogs in vehicles while gambling in casinos

Senior Reporter

There’s a recurring issue that needs to be put to and - people leaving their children and pets unattended in vehicles while enjoying their time at casinos. Not only does that put children at risk of being kidnapped, but leaving anyone at all in a vehicle that can get hot and stuffy for several hours can pose a great risk of dehydration, sunstroke, or even death. Not to mention, the temperature in extreme weather could rise to dangerous levels within minutes - hot or cold. And no, a cracked window won’t make much of a difference.

People keep leaving children and dogs in vehicles while gambling in casinos
Parked vehicles. Image: pixabay.com 

What many people don’t know is that the temperature in a car can get higher than outside due to a greenhouse effect which traps the heat inside, without any way for it to air out. Additionally, cars with a darker exterior don’t reflect the sun the same way light colors do, so they get hotter even quicker. 

Unfortunately, even said facts don’t stop people from putting their pleasures above the safety of their children or helpless pets. A 39-year-old man from Las Vegas named Mitchell Anthony Hooks, 39, is yet another example of such recklessness.

Mitchell was arrested this Friday and charged with child abuse after leaving an infant in his car while he spent hours gambling inside the Bighorn casino. That day it got as hot as 117 degrees during the week Vegas was reaching record-setting temperatures. Despite the windows being partially open, such weather could have easily killed the child as anything over 85 degrees Fahrenheit could quickly lead to heat exhaustion.

As soon as the infant was found that afternoon, he was taken to the hospital and remained in pediatric care. There are no current reports of whether the incident took a toll on the child, but it’s safe to say that it was only by the grace of God that he was found alive. The father, on the other hand, was found intoxicated and clearly too distracted by gambling to even check up on his child during his mini-hiatus.

Shockingly enough, this wasn’t the first, second, or even the third incident of this kind. Back in April, a 43-year-old named Marieny Elena Guimera-Revelo also left two of her children to gamble her heart out at the Hard Rock Casino in Florida. What’s worse is that she is a doctor who should know better than to leave kids in a hot vehicle for a whole hour.

Another careless father named Mitchell Cuevas, 38, left his autistic toddler in a car back in 2020 to enjoy some sports betting at the Twin River gaming venue. This time, however, the temperature was in the mid-30s, which isn’t deadly, but certainly far too chilly for a little boy to be in. The man has been sentenced with cruelty to or neglect of a child and obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.

Not leaving a child unattended in a vehicle should be a given, but some are completely ignorant to the fact that animals can suffer when left in extreme temperatures also. A woman from Las Vegas recently went to gamble at the Wild Wild West Casino while leaving her dog in the SUV without any food, water, or AC. Surprisingly enough, she didn’t learn her lesson the first time and did the same exact thing weeks later while shopping at Goodwill.

Thankfully, the woman’s dog was okay, although probably not too happy with the owner’s choice of actions. However, back in 2019, another dog didn’t get so lucky after a man left it in the car to gamble at the ​​Evangeline Downs Casino in Louisiana. The man stated he “forgot” the dog was there and discovered that it was dead when he returned to his car. He was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and received quite some hate from the internet’s animal lovers.

How this lack of responsibility continues surfacing remains a mystery, but it’s an ongoing problem that calls for serious awareness. It’s one thing to leave a child in the car while pumping gas at a gas station, but anything beyond that is simply impermissible. If one has enough money to throw into thin air at a casino, then there is certainly enough for a babysitter. Not trusting other people with your child becomes a poor excuse if the other option is leaving them in the car.

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