Phoenix police are investigating a case of animal cruelty after a puppy, left inside of a locked car, died on a day the Valley hit 110 degrees.
A security guard patrolling the parking lot of a Costco store at Christown Spectrum Mall found the unresponsive puppy in a black SUV Mazda Tribute with California license plates about 3:30 p.m. Monday, said Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump.
The vehicle was parked in direct sunlight.
“I probably would’ve bashed her windows out and took the dog out, if I’d seen the dog in the car, honestly,” said James Weaver, who was adopting a dog outside of PetSmart shortly after the deadly incident. “Whether I’m going to jail or not, I would’ve took the dog out of there.”
The Arizona Humane Society said the puppy was already dead by the time its emergency animal medical technicians arrived.
“The EAMTs took a temperature, body temperature on the dog, and our thermometers go up to 110,” explained Ashliegh Goebel with the humane society. “And, unfortunately, the dog’s temperature surpassed that – because the thermometer stopped reading at 110.”
The normal body temperature for a dog is about 101 degrees, she said.
The owner of Raider, a 6-month-old pit bull mix, was questioned and released by Phoenix police.
They said an animal cruelty investigation is underway, and a report will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s office for review – and she could face charges.
An excessive heat warning was in effect in Phoenix and surrounding areas at the time of the deadly mishap.
Officials had warned residents to look after themselves and their pets as thermometers soared to unseasonably hot heights.
“People out there need to realize how hot it is,” said Goebel. “If it’s too hot for us to be in a car, in the parking lot with no shade, it’s too hot for an animal.”