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Mom Accused Of Leaving Daughters In A Hot Car While Taking Sick Dog To The Vet

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A Simi Valley mother was arrested after she allegedly locked her three young girls in a hot car on Monday while she took her ill pet to the vet.Amanda Woodruff, 28, drove her three daughters to a veterinary hospital located on the 1700 block of East Los Angeles Avenue around 3:40 p.m., according to the L.A. Times.

When she went into the hospital, Woodruff reportedly left her three daughters—who ranged from 1 to 5 years old—sitting in a hot car across the street. The windows were rolled up, there was no air conditioning on, the engine was turned off and the doors were locked. Authorities believed the girls had been in the car for at least 20 minutes in the hot heat, with temperatures that day reaching the 90s.

Simi Valley Police first arrived at the scene after they received calls from neighboring business owners complaining that Woodruff was arguing loudly with the vet hospital's staff. When authorities spoke to Woodruff, they believed she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She later took them to her car, where police found her daughters. Police forced their way into the car to get the girls out and to a hospital.

"The youngest, the 1-year-old, was lethargic, had an increased temperature, so there were some obvious indications that the heat had already taken at least some medical toll on the children," Cmdr. Stephanie Shannon of the Simi Valley Police Department told KABC.

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The children were later released to a relative, and Child Protective Services is investigating the incident. Woodruff was arrested at the scene for suspicion of DUI and felony child endangerment.

"She was concerned for the dog's welfare and subsequently chose to leave her children in the car," Shannon told the L.A. Times.