Shopper charged with cruelty for leaving dog

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Rockland – Shopper charged with cruelty for leaving dog in hot automobile

Shopper charged with cruelty for leaving dog in hot automobile
Original publication: June 10, 2005)

A New City man has been charged for leaving his dog in his car while he was shopping at the Palisades Center mall, police said.

Police saw the large Siberian husky-mix yelping, panting heavily and trying to force its head out of the car window Monday as temperatures neared 90 degrees, Sgt. Harry Baumann said.

The passenger window was open about 2 inches, he said.

Mall security paged the dog owner, who returned to his car.

The 58-year-old man was charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor under state agriculture and markets law.

Dr. Russ Petro, a veterinarian at Valley Cottage Animal Hospital, said animals and children should never be left in vehicles during the summer.

“This time of year, even with the windows cracked, the temperatures in the car can go well over 100 degrees,” he said. “On a day like today, even 10 or 15 minutes, they’re cooked.”

Petro said dogs left in hot cars would suffer from heat exhaustion and their body temperatures could rise to 110 degrees. Dogs’ temperatures normally range from 100 to 102 degrees.

“They get sick from it and there’s no bringing them back most times,” Petro said. “We try to cool them down, but sometimes you can’t. Their brain is fried.”

The man was released and is scheduled to appear Monday in Clarkstown Town Court.

Clarkstown police said anyone who saw an animal or child left unattended in vehicles should call police immediately.


In case of an emergency, it’s important to be able to identify the symptoms of heat stress.

Check the animal for:

• heavy panting

• glazed eyes

• rapid heartbeat

• restlessness

• excessive thirst

• lethargy

• fever

• dizziness

• lack of coordination

• profuse salivation

• vomiting

• a deep red or purple tongue

• unconsciousness.

If the animal shows symptoms of heat stroke, take steps to gradually lower its body temperature

• Move it into the shade or an air-conditioned area.

• Apply ice packs or cold towels to its head, neck and chest or immerse the animal in cool (not cold) water.

• Let it drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

• Take it directly to a veterinarian.


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