NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — Don’t let what happened to one dog in Naugatuck happen to your pet. Animal control officers are now reminding residents that our recent sweltering weather is not good for dogs and that we shouldn’t leave our pets in our cars for any period of time.
“No matter how short you decide to go shopping and how much you want your dog to go with you, if you truly love your dog, you’ll leave your dog at home,” said Naugatuck Animal Control Officer Jessica Martinez.
Last Sunday, people in the community called police after they said they witnessed a dog locked in a hot car for about 30 minutes in a Walmart parking lot.
When Animal Control Officer Steve Rupsis arrived, he used a thermometer to gauge the hottest temperatures in the vehicle soaring above 100 degrees.
News 8 asked him what would’ve happened to the dog had it been in that vehicle longer.
“Then, it would go through the stages of distress [which include excessive panting and drooling] and possibly die,” Rupsis said.
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The officer was there when the owner, 46-year-old Andre Rodrigues, returned to the car. Rodrigues was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
According to the group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), across the country, 79 pets have died from heat-related illness, and 29 pets have been rescued from hot cars, like the dog in Naugatuck, within the last year.
By the way, Officer Rupsis told News 8 temperatures of 70 degrees or higher are not safe for your pets, and they can start suffering from heat-related illness in a matter of minutes.