RIVERSIDE – A vehicle owner was cited Tuesday for leaving a male, pit bull mix inside a locked car as the temperature inside the vehicle soared to 109.6.
The identity of the owner was not released.
The pit bull was locked in the vehicle presumably prior to its caretaker attending a court hearing, according to John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. The car was parked on Main Street near the courthouses in downtown Riverside. Riverside Police discovered the dog about 10:30 a.m.
Regardless of what the car owner was doing, officers with Riverside Police responded to a call about the dog and, unsurprisingly, the officers were extremely concerned about the pet. Welsh said. Animal Services Officer Michael Cox responded and used an infrared device to get a temperature of the car’s temperature. The back windows were partially open.
“Leaving windows partially open is not going to alleviate the rising temperature inside vehicles,” Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer said in a prepared statement. “A dog’s life can be put in jeopardy when they’re left in hot cars. It’s dangerous, cruel – and it’s a crime.”
After Cox’s reading, it was determined the pit bull was in grave danger. A Riverside Police officer smashed the passenger-side window. Officer Cox retrieved the dog, provided it water, and then rushed it to the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter for additional care.
The male, pit bull mix had an internal temperature of 104 degrees. Veterinary team members examined the dog and worked on getting its temperature lowered. After a short while, the dog appeared it was doing better and was kenneled. The dog remains in the care of staff at the county’s shelter in Jurupa Valley.
The Riverside Police officer cited the vehicle owner for leaving a pit bull inside a closed vehicle in dangerous conditions.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® says if you see an animal trapped in a car on a hot day, try to locate its owner or call 911. Stay by the car until assistance arrives.
- Smashed window: Officer Michael Cox, Riverside County Animal Services
- Pit Bull: Riverside County Department of Animal Services