updated 7/25/2006 10:54:56 AM ET 2006-07-25T14:54:56

A woman whose pet cockatoo died after it was left in a sweltering car while she went to a movie has been charged with animal cruelty.

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Moviegoers told police they saw the bird, which appeared distressed, in the back of the car Saturday afternoon, police spokesman Jim Shelhorse said. They alerted theater staff who called the police.

By the time police opened the car, the bird was dead in its cage, Shelhorse said.

Donia Monique Brooks, 25, was charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor that can bring up to a year in prison.

Shelhorse said a window in the car had been left open about an inch, but the temperature outside was 90 degrees and the heat index was about 97.

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