Update: One Dead, Three Rescued at Disney World as Animal Kingdom Cast Member Gets Involved in Tragedy

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Firefighters in gear observing a scene, with a whimsical castle and a rainbow in the background, suggesting a Disney World location.

Credit: Inside the Magic

There has been an update on the tragic case that left one dead and three rescued at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Central Florida.

A picturesque view of a fairy tale Cinderella Castle with spires, under a clear blue sky with the sun setting behind, casting a warm glow over the scene.
Credit: Disney

While a trip to Disney World is one the most magical a person can take, the resort is not immune to accidents and incidents that can, at times, end in tragic circumstances.

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District was called to the Disney Springs area of Walt Disney World Resort. Here, first responders encountered four puppies in a hot car.

An image of the Disney Springs water tower on a cloudy day, with light rays peaking through the clouds, and a clear sky in the background featuring an advertisement for Chicken Guy sauces.
Credit: Disney

The owner of the puppies had collected them just hours prior to the calls of concern and had parked at Disney Springs–formerly Downtown Disney–for a 90-minute meal at the location.

Sadly, one of the puppies died as a result of being trapped inside the car, while the other three were rescued. Firefighters Ben Whitley, Leonardo Rojas and John Harvey have since each adopted one of the animals.

The new logo for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Credit: Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

Leonardo Rojas told Click Orlando that he was angry at the situation, saying that he “can’t comprehend how a human can do this to puppies.”

The adoption of the three puppies came about due to the firefighters’ continued interest in the puppies’ rescue.

“Leo and I went to animal control to just check up on these three and see how they were doing and happened to run up on the investigator that was working the case, and it kind of started this whole conversation,” Ben Whitely said.

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Credit: Flickr, Ussamam

Related: Disney World Update: 8 Guests Hospitalized After Theme Park Incidents

The outlet also reveals that a veterinarian from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park also supported the rescue and care of the surviving puppies. It is not known in what capacity this Disney World cast member aided the healthcare of the animals, though.

Disney Springs is a sprawling retail and restaurant area that includes locations like the impressive World of Disney merchandise store, as well as mall staples like Zara and Uniqlo. A large portion of the Disney Springs area consists of food and beverage locations like Gideon’s Bakehouse, Chicken Guy!, The Boathouse, and Raglan Road.

Raglan Road interior
Credit: Disney

Related: Resort Update Made After Woman Dies Following Disney World Meal

Raglan Road hit the headlines earlier this year after an October 2023 incident was made public through court records. The records show that one Disney World guest suffered a life-ending allergic reaction after consuming food at Raglan Road. After being assured that the food did not contain allergens, Kanokporn Tangsuan collapsed near Planet Hollywood and died later at a hospital.

Inside the Magic will continue to update this developing story.

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