Police rescue dog from hot car in shopping mall parking lot

CHESTERFIELD, MO  - A dog left in a hot car could have been injured or even worse, had a concerned citizen not called 911, police said.

The incident happened days ago, but it serves as a warning as temperatures returned to the triple digits Wednesday.

“A day like this, you don’t bring your pets in the car. Just keep them at home, in air conditioning,” Chesterfield Police Sgt. Keith Rider said.

Rider said in mid-July, a woman left her small dog in her vehicle as she went shopping at one of the area outlet malls.

“This owner in particular, stated they take their dog with them everywhere, and with the windows cracked, didn’t think it was an issue,” he said.

A cracked window is no safeguard against the extreme heat and humidity, he said, even in the evening hours, when this incident took place.

“The temperature between the outside and the inside of a car, within a matter of 10 minutes can go up 20 degrees. From 80 to 100 degrees,” Rider said.

Rider said a person in the parking lot happened to see the dog panty heavily in the vehicle. The concerned person called police, and authorities arrived on scene.

Police made contact with the owner and the dog was treated.

The owner, a Jefferson County woman in her 30s, was cited for leaving the animal in the vehicle, and will be required to appear in court.

The incident is not the first of its kind this summer. Days before this case occurred, The Missouri Humane Society’s Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued a dog trapped in a hot parked car in Forest Park.

The temperature in the car that day had reached more than 130 degrees.

Rider said the driver in Chesterfield should be grateful the outcome wasn’t worse.

“Who knows what would have happened if somebody didn’t notice the dog there?” he asked.