ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) – Two 5-week-old puppies are being closely watched at the York County Animal Shelter after they were left in a hot car in Rock Hill this week.
“It’s very frustrating and very difficult to see,” said Rock Hill Police Officer Robin Gander, the first to show up to the call. “I was able to get my arm actually through one of the black windows, the two puppies were in the front seat, barking and kind of howling, definitely in distress.”
According to the police report, it was 94 degrees outside at the time.
Gander got the puppies out of the sweltering car and put them in her lunch cooler surrounded by several ice packs. She then put them right under the air vent in her cruiser.
“As soon as they felt that air, they were just sticking their heads toward the air vent,” Gander said. “I think one even fell asleep once he cooled down.”
The puppies’ owner, 34-year-old Latoya Reid, was reportedly getting her hair done at a nearby salon. She was arrested for ill treatment on animals and possession of marijuana.
York County Animal Control Chief Greg Williams said some people “think that the dogs are more adaptable to the heat, but they’re not.”
Williams said this is a story he is unfortunately very familiar with. While these puppies were saved, others aren’t so lucky.
“The car can get up to 150 degrees,” Chief Williams said. “That’s like putting an animal in an ‘Easy Bake’ oven.”
Williams said people should keep their pets at home, keep them hydrated, and keep them out of the sun as much as possible.
“They are an innocent victim, they don’t have a voice, they can’t tell you what’s right or what’s wrong,” Gander added.
Ill treatment of animals is a misdemeanor in South Carolina. Those convicted could face a fine up to $475 or spend 30 days in jail.
Anyone who can’t afford to put up a shelter to cool off this summer can call animal control and officers will come out with supplies to help.
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