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Sheriff's Office: Not responsible for dog's death

Tuesday - 6/7/2011, 6:00pm  ET

060611_dogface512.jpg
Stuart Grimes claims Loudoun County Sheriff's deputies contributed to the death of his dog, Rex. (Photo courtesy of 'Justice for Rex' facebook page.
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Neal Augenstein, wtop.com
Amy Hunter, wtop.com

STERLING, Va. -- The man who was arrested for being drunk in public on Friday never told anyone he had a dog in his car, the Loudoun County Sheriff said Tuesday.

"We wish he had told us. We wish we had known the dog was in the car. It would have been attended to, I can assure you," Sheriff Steve Simpson said. "It's unfortunate the deputies have been blamed for this, which I think is unfair."

Stuart Grimes, of Herndon, Va., said his dog died Friday after spending the day locked inside the hot vehicle.

The 24-year-old was arrested after deputies said he was found asleep at the International House of Pancakes on Cedar Lakes Boulevard around 5 a.m.

Grimes says he repeatedly told authorities about the dog, Rex, and asked them to retrieve him. But, he says his pleas were ignored.

Simpson said Tuesday his office is standing by the deputies' handling of the arrest.

"We've talked to the deputies who responded to the IHOP. We've talked to the employees of the IHOP who were working at the time. We've talked to all the deputies who were in the jail who had any contact with him during that time," Simpson said. "At no time did he mention anything about a car, or a dog, or the fact that there was a dog in the car."

Grimes has not yet responded to a phone request for comment from WTOP.

A spokesperson with Loudoun County Animal Control says its investigation into the incident continues.

Supporters have created a facebook page, Justice for Rex, that has garnered nearly 4,000 followers.

Follow Neal Augenstein on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)