Despite all the posts, warnings, informational videos and sad stories, some dog owners apparently still do not understand how serious it is to leave your dog in a car that is not running when it’s warm out.
It’s not enough to put up a shade or roll down a window. A bowl of water won’t do anything if the internal temperature of the car is over 100 degrees.
Heat in general is hard on dogs, especially when they can’t change their location or find more suitable shelter than a glass-and-metal can parked in full sun on a slab of asphalt. Heat is especially hard on brachycephalic dogs, or dogs with smushy faces, as they cannot pant efficiently enough to cool themselves down.
Officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department came across a heartbreaking situation in late July when alerted by a good Samaritan that three dogs — two of which were pugs — were trapped in a hot car parked in a Walmart parking lot and exhibiting signs of distress.
It was only 9:30 a.m., but the temperature was already at 96 degrees. The front windows were rolled down, but it wasn’t enough.
The three dogs in the car were a 4-year-old German Shepherd named Donna, and the two pugs: 13-year-old Zachary and 10-year-old Howie.
By the time cops arrived and removed the dogs, the most senior pug, Zachary, was failing. Both pugs were limp and listless, panting hard.
The German Shepherd was also removed, but she did not need medical assistance.
The pugs were taken to an animal hospital, where Zachary was euthanized after suffering heatstroke and having seizures.
The owner, 62-year-old Yean Sia, was arrested. She was charged with three counts of willful malicious torture of an animal and was taken to the Clark County Detention Center.
LVMPD shared the distressing video of the rescue along with a strong reminder not to follow in this owner’s footsteps.
WARNing: The following video contains content that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
“Thanks to an alert citizen as well as a security guard, we were able to step in and save more dogs in distress,” police wrote. “This happened last week in the 5200 block of South Fort Apache. Sadly one of the three dogs did not survive. One person was arrested.
“It is going to get VERY hot again next week across Southern Nevada. Do NOT leave animals or people in vehicles. This is needless suffering and completely unacceptable.”