Dog Left in Hot Car as Owner Tans: Police

Woman cited for leaving dog locked in car in sweltering heat

By Andy Salsman
|  Thursday, Jun 9, 2011  |  Updated 8:44 PM EDT
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Frederick County Animal Control officials have a stern warning for all pet owners in this heat wave after a woman allegedly left her dog in a sweltering car while she went into a tanning salon on Wednesday.

Chris Gordon

Frederick County Animal Control officials have a stern warning for all pet owners in this heat wave after a woman allegedly left her dog in a sweltering car while she went into a tanning salon on Wednesday.

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Spending too much time outside in this heat can be dangerous.

Spending too much time in a locked car in this weather can be downright deadly, especially for dogs.

Police in Frederick, Md., cited a woman Wednesday evening after they said she left her Maltese-Bichon mix in her car while she went to the tanning salon.

It was 97 degrees outside at the time, with a heat index of 100.

Officers tried to free the dog from the car -- which had its windows rolled all the way up -- but couldn’t get the door open. The owner finally came to her car and opened the door. Police say it was 152 degrees inside the vehicle.

“Any temperatures that are that elevated are extremely critical to a dog’s health and any time spent in those temperatures can potentially be very harmful,” Sgt. Dave Luckenbaugh, of Frederick County Animal Control, told NBC Washington’s Chris Gordon.

Fortunately, the dog was OK and was returned to its owner.

Police cited the owner for endangering the health, safety, and welfare of a dog. Animal Control also cited her for animal cruelty.

Animal control officers say never leave an animal alone in a car even with the motor running and the air conditioning on. It’s best to leave the dog at home or take it with you when you leave the car. They say if you see a dog left unattended in a hot car, call the police or animal control to report it and possibly save the animal from heat stroke or death.

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