Thunder Bay

Dog owner pleads guilty to animal cruelty after leaving pet in hot car

A 55-year-old man from Manitouwadge, Ont., has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after leaving his Shepherd-type dog unattended in a car during a hot summer day in August.

Temperature inside car was measured at 39 C

A 55-year old man has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after leaving his dog unattended in car during a hot summer day in August 2017. (Ontario SPCA)

A 55-year-old man from Manitouwadge, Ont., has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after leaving his Shepherd-type dog unattended in a car during a hot summer day in August.

According to a written release Thursday from the Ontario SPCA, on August 11, 2017 an agent from the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society attended a car with a dog inside, in the west end of the city. The Shepherd-type dog was seen panting heavily on the floor of the vehicle, attempting to avoid the sun. The temperature inside the vehicle was measured at 39°C.

When officers were unable to locate the owner of the dog, they decided to remove the animal from the vehicle to alleviate its distress.

Officials with the SPCA said a veterinary examination showed that the dog's internal body temperature was so elevated that if the dog had been left in the vehicle any longer, it could have suffered brain damage or death.

"There is no excuse to leave an animal in a hot vehicle for any amount of time," stated Lynn Michaud, the Ontario SPCA senior inspector, in the release. "Fortunately, in this case, the dog was removed from the car before it suffered serious health affects, thanks to the fast-acting public that reported the incident."

Ontario SPCA officials recommend that if you see an animal left in a vehicle, do not attempt to take the law into your own hands. Instead, they suggest reporting it to the Ontario SPCA's province-wide animal cruelty hotline at 310-SPCA (7722) or local police, and asking surrounding businesses to make an announcement requesting the owner return to their vehicle immediately.