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Woman charged with misdemeanor after leaving dog inside hot car

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A local woman faces jail time after authorities found a dog left in a hot car.

An Idaho Falls animal control officer reported finding an Alaskan Malamute inside the hot vehicle at the Grand Teton Mall on Aug. 3. The dog’s owner is now charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and she pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

EastIdahoNews.com is not naming the woman as she was only charged with a misdemeanor.

When the animal control officer found the dog, they noted the outside air temperature at 80 degrees. The dog was lying down, panting and whining. A thermometer placed inside the car noted it was 98 degrees. Court documents do not indicate how long the dog had been left in the car.

Animal control took the dog to a vet clinic where they gave the dog fluids. The veterinarian who cared for the dog noted dog’s temperature had risen to over 103 degrees, which is far too hot for a Malamute.

About midway through treatment, the woman arrived at the clinic, paid the bill and the animal was returned to her.

If convicted, the woman faces up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

It’s not just dogs being left in hot cars. This summer the Idaho Falls Police Department cited two parents with misdemeanor injury to children after they left their kids in a hot car while shopping at Costco.

As the western United States and eastern Idaho faces record-breaking heat this summer first responders and health experts have issued warnings about how hot temperatures can reach in a car.

RELATED | PMC combating vehicular heatstroke with thermometer display, ‘ACT’ campaign

Portneuf Medical Center ran an experiment in July and said the temperature inside a vehicle can be up to 30 degrees hotter than outside. When temperatures were in the mid- to high-90s, a thermometer inside PMC’s test vehicle read 124 degrees.

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