A small dog in suburban Denver is recovering after police rescued him from a car in which temperatures soared to nearly 124 degrees.
The pup – named Pedro – was retrieved and his owner was arrested Tuesday after officers broke the window of a car in Lakeside, KTLA sister station KDVR in Denver reported.
Temperatures neared 100 degrees in the Denver metro area that day. The inside of the car reached a sweltering – and potentially deadly – 123.7 degrees, police said.
Lakeside police Officer Dave Kornowski and his partner responded when they were called to a report of animal cruelty at a Walmart. They found Pedro struggling inside the car. He was having problems breathing and panting, Kornowski said.
Kornowski and his partner broke the window and, with the help of Jefferson County Animal Control, rescued the dog.
Police recorded video of Pedro, who was obviously in distress. Kornowski said it appeared the dog had "neurological issues" from being in the car that long.
"If you love your animal that much, you wouldn't leave it in a hot car like that," he said.
Following the rescue, Pedro's owner approached the car, "mad that his window was broken," the officer said. The man, identified as Aaron Marlow, then got in his car and fled, but he was caught and arrested at a gas station on the other side of the parking lot, police said.
Marlow appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges of animal cruelty and eluding police, prosecutors told KDVR.
Meanwhile, Pedro was rushed to an animal hospital. The dog was initially described as being in critical condition and receiving treatment in the intensive care unit.
But Lakewood police said Wednesday that hospital staff reported Pedro is expected to survive. He will likely be taken to the nearby Foothills Animal Shelter, which shared Pedro's story on Facebook and reminded the public that "leaving an animal in a hot car is never safe."
"Temperatures can rise rapidly in an enclosed vehicle and become dangerous in minutes," the shelter wrote in a Facebook post. "When in doubt, leave pets safely at home."