SALT LAKE CITY — A dog died Tuesday afternoon after being left in a hot car for over an hour in Salt Lake City, officials report.
Salt Lake County Animal Services said that at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, an Animal Control Officer responded to a call that a dog was in distress in a car near 700 S. 900 W.
The dog, described as a mixed breed and possibly a German Shepard mix, was pulled out of the unlocked vehicle by officials.
Officials said the dog was convulsing and unresponsive when it was pulled from the car. Despite efforts to cool the dog off and administer first aid, the dog stopped breathing and died just moments later.
The owner of the dog was located in a nearby business and was cited for animal cruelty, officials report.
Salt Lake County Animal Services reminded pet owners to never leave dogs in a hot car unattended. They report that their team responds to about 500 calls a year for animals left in hot cars.
Even on a 70-degree day, the temperature in a car can spike to 116 degrees in ten minutes, "causing a dog to suffer and die a painful death," officials said.
If you see a dog in a parked car that is excessively panting, non-responsive or drooling, call 911. Then take a photo of the pet and the license plate to give to Animal Control Officers.
Animal Services says you should never break the window of a vehicle because you could be liable for damages since pets do not fall under the Good Samaritan law in Utah. Pet owners should not just leave the Air Conditioning on in their vehicle for a pet.
"Dogs can’t release heat from sweating, as humans do, which means their internal body temperature rise quickly," Salt Lake County Animal Services said. "This can cause them to get heat stroke, and possibly die. Senior dogs, puppies, and those with flatter faces, suffer even more in hot weather. Do what’s best for your dog, leave them at home."