BELLEVUE, Neb. — A man accused of leaving his bulldog puppy on a hot apartment balcony, leading to its death, has been cited on suspicion of animal cruelty.

The Nebraska Humane Society says the 52-year-old owner faces a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, which carries a sentence of up to a year in jail.

Nebraska Humane Society officials were sent to the Bellevue apartment complex earlier this month and found the 16-month-old dog’s carcass. There was food and water on the balcony, but the dog was left in direct sunlight with no shade on a day when the heat index was 97 degrees (36 Celsius).

Veterinarians say the dog’s death was “consistent with signs of heatstroke.” Experts say a bulldog’s shortened snout makes it harder for the animal to eliminate heat by panting.

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