Thanks to one fast-thinking police officer, a little dog is still alive—and now has a new home.
When Missouri police officer Jeff O'Rear rescued a five-month-old Chihuahua from a hot car, where he had been left for nearly two hours, the puppy was close to death. According to KCTV5, a woman heard the puppy crying and contacted police after being unable to locate the owners.
By the time the officer arrived, the toy dog was on his back, with a body temperature of 107 degrees. The Kansas City Star reported that outside temperatures were between 82 and 93 degrees that day. O'Rear sought assistance and they were able to revive the dog, who went into shock, and get him veterinary care.
The owners were cited for animal cruelty and signed over ownership of the dog to allow the officer to keep him, The Kansas City Star reported, and O’Rear surprised his two young daughters with the puppy (scroll down for video). “I want to make sure that he lives pretty much a life of a king for the rest of his life because of what he went through," O'Rear told KCTV5. "I think we'll be able to provide that."
Remember that it is never safe to leave a dog in a car, even if you think the temperature outside is mild. (Last week, actress Jennifer Beals found herself under fire for leaving her German Shepherd Dog in a car—see that story here.)
On an 85-degree day, a car reaches a temperature of 120 degrees in just 30 minutes, even with the windows cracked. If you see a dog in a hot car, call police or animal control immediately.
Some states offer civilians protection against charges if a Good Samaritan breaks a car window to save a child or adult, but the only state that protects people causing such damage to save a pet is Tennessee, which expanded its Good Samaritan Law to pets just last month. Even so, the law states that people must take “reasonable action” first, which would include calling police.
See the video in which the girls get to meet the Chihuahua and learn that they’re taking him home: