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Animal control officer, deputies rescue dog ‘trapped’ in hot car

Nye County Animal Control and sheriff’s deputies were summoned to the Goodwill Store on Loop Road after a small dog was spotted in distress inside a hot vehicle parked at the business on Wednesday.

Though the car’s window was partially down, Animal Control Officer Susan Ryhal said the 8-month-old dog’s life was in imminent danger, as he was essentially trapped inside the vehicle.

The interior heat inside the car exceeded 120 degrees, as measured by Ryhal.

“This particular dog was very clearly in distress,” she said. “The window was down but the dog was leashed and tied inside the vehicle so he couldn’t escape the heat. People think if they leave their windows cracked or they leave water for the animal, it will be fine, but that’s just not the case.”

Ryhal was forced to remove the small dog from the vehicle while a deputy tracked down the owner, who was shopping inside the store just after 10:30 a.m.

Several minutes later, the woman was located and ran to her vehicle.

She was overheard telling Ryhal and the deputy that she was “trying to hurry out of the store.”

“The best advice I can give to pet owners is to leave their pets at home,” Ryhal advised. “If your animal is a licensed and registered service animal and you need that dog with you, then by all means take them with you inside the business. Do not leave your dogs in the car because the heat will kill them within minutes.”

Ryhal also said had the window not been partially down, she would have broken it to gain entry and save the suffering animal.

It was unclear exactly how long the dog was left inside the car.

She noted that animal control routinely respond to calls regarding dogs being left in vehicles each year when temperatures rise above the 90-degree mark.

“This is a pretty common call that we get each summer,” she said.

“The woman was from out of state and she’s probably not used to our temperatures, but it’s no excuse because everyone knows that it gets hot in the desert. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your animal.”

The owner, whose license plates were out of Kansas, was cited for the violation.

Ryhal said the penalty is a $500 fine, plus a $147 administrative fee for a total fine of $647.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com

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