An alert from Breaking News Network just after 7 p.m. Wednesday night caught our eye:

NJ| Essex| Maplewood| *Animal Cruelty*| Boyden Ave| PD O/S with a dog locked in parrked car. PD found the owner, who was in the pool. | <C> BNN | BNNDESK/njn630 | #500418

“I’ve been here 25 years and this is the first time I can remember this happening,” said Lt. Michael Marucci of the Maplewood Police Department.  Lt. Marucci said that Maplewood residents tended to be “responsible.”

He said the dog, described on the police report as a “small hot-dog type,” was fine. The police responded to a call of a dog locked in a car around 7 p.m., rescued the animal and located the owner at the pool.  The owner was issued a Maplewood Township summons for animal cruelty, and will have to go before a judge to plead.  He faces a possible fine, but no other criminal penalties.

New Jersey is actually one of fourteen states where it is illegal to leave pets in cars in extreme weather, according to the Animal Legal and Historical Center. NJ statute 4:22-26 states that it is unlawful to leave animals “unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature.” The penalty is a fine that can range from $250-1,000.

The ASPCA cautions pet owners never to leave animals alone in a parked vehicle. “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital on the ASPCA website.

Here are some more tips from the ASPCA’s website:

  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the Warning Signs: According to Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA Vice President of Veterinary Outreach, “symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.” Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
  • Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent overheating. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. As far as skin care, be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

11 replies on “Maplewood Police Find Dog Locked in Car”

  1. On a night that was close to 100 degrees? Perhaps the owner should be locked in the car for a few minutes w the windows up and no a/c and see how he likes it.

  2. When I first saw this, I was afraid to read it because I didn’t know what the outcome was. So glad the dog is OK. Stupid, stupid, stupid owner.

  3. Every time it gets hot, some dim-witted parent, usually the mother, leaves their child locked in the car while they:

    (1) Go to work.
    (2) Go shopping
    (3) etc..

    and every time it gets hot innocent children pay for their parent’s colossal stupidity with their lives..

  4. Seriously, you have to have been living in a cave for past 30 years to know that this can cause trauma or death to an animal. The newspapers and TV broadcasters do stories on this every summer but there is always one idjit who just doesn’t get it and/or puts THEIR needs ahead of their pet’s. I hope that 1. this poor dog is taken away from this person and 2. he faces more than just a fine.

  5. It’s a shame! How could someone not know that their dog would be in extreme danger with this heat? We sometimes leave our dogs in the car but only when the temps are very low and we leave the windows open and a dish of water for them – and then check on them every fifteen minutes or so to make sure they’re OK. How could someone do this?

  6. MellonBrush, agree. There are also the parents who leave their kids in the car “for just a second” then come back out to find the car’s been jacked with the kids in it. Then they wail for their babies. Idiots didn’t deserve them in the first place!

    Martta, exactly. Bottom line is selfish people don’t give a damn. About anything.

  7. Well, I see it every summer. I was getting ready to call the police when I was at Home Depot one hot summer’s day several years ago because a dog that had been left in a car looked really uncomfortable. The window was cracked but barely, and the dog was seriously panting. The owner came out and got a piece of my mind. When it’s so hot, why do you have to bring your dog to Home Depot-or anywhere else?

Comments are closed.