St. Petersburg, Florida - Carla Thomas' life changed over the course of one weekend.
In a matter of 24 hours, the long-time animal lover lost her beloved 5-year-old Akita named Sache; she was then was arrested and sent to jail.
Photo Gallery: Pet dog dies after fasting
Through her tears, she explained, "I was completely devastated. I was standing out there with one of my friends, and she thought I was going to pass out."
Sache came to Carla as an abused animal in November. She called him her "shop dog" and kept him at her holistic pet store, Healthy Paws, on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
He even had his name on the wall and his own room.
Clearwater homeopathic doctor, Dr. John Fudens, recommended that Carla fast her dog to help cleanse his system and treat a skin allergy.
So each weekend, Sache would fast for one day, which Dr. Fudens says is "both healthy and completely safe for animals and humans."
He adds, "Fasting did not kill the dog. It cannot kill a dog. You'll have sick dogs and cats that go one, two, three days without eating."
On Friday, April 16, Carla says she fed Sache four bowls of water and two bowls of food. She also set the thermostat at 80 degrees and kept a fan pointed at his bed.
"He loved to sleep there, "she says.
Carla would keep Sache in her store since she already had another male Akita at home, along withy several smaller dogs. "It was for his protection," she tells us. "He liked it [at the store]."
On Saturday morning, Carla left for a dog competition, feeling confidant that Sache was safe and well-kept in her store, as he often was during overnight hours.
Sunday morning, she got an alarming phone call that Sache was dead.
"I miss my dog," Carla told us. "I don't understand how this could have happened, and I sure as hell don't understand how I could be responsible for it."
Carla was shocked and saddened to learn that she would be arrested on animal cruelty charges Sunday. Those who know her say the dog lover would never hurt an animal.
During an interview at his Clearwater office, Dr. Fudens said, "She doesn't neglect her animals, she rescues them. She loves them better than people."
After spending a few hours in jail, Carla went home devastated and confused. "How could this happen? I did everything right. I left the temperature at 80, I left the dog food and water that night. He normally does a fast on the weekend."
Carla says she thinks off her pets as her children.
The building that houses Healthy Paws is currently owned by Abraham Reed. The landlord did not want to go on camera.
Carla says that Reed was doing construction projects over the weekend, and with previous projects, she says he often turned off the air.
She believes that could be the reason behind her dog's death.
"How could he have heatstroke? I had the air on. I left it on. We've known the crew turned AC off. It got turned off somehow. They were the only ones on the property," Carla says.
Reed would not go on camera for an interview. He did confirm that he and his crew were inside the building over the weekend, but said that he did not touch the air conditioning.
Still, Carla has her doubts.
"How did this happen?" she asked. "I didn't do this. Someone else hurt my dog."
Melanie Brooks, 10 Connects