Puppy saved from hot, locked car

BELLFLOWER - Animal control officers from the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) last week rescued a 3-month-old Chihuahua that was allegedly left inside a hot car in Bellflower.A woman visiting the Kaiser Permanente hospital on Rosecrans Avenue noticed the puppy after parking next to a white Ford Focus at about 11 a.m., said Capt. Aaron Reyes, director of operations for SEAACA. When the woman returned to her car just before noon, she noticed the dog was still locked inside and was now panting heavily and pacing. "She called SEAACA and the Bellflower dedicated officer was sent to the scene, arriving within five minutes," Reyes said. The animal control officer, Nadine Trujillo, registered the temperature inside the car at 123 degrees. By this time, the dog, named Bella, was "jumping from the back to the front seat in what appeared to be a panicked state, panting heavily." "When the puppy climbed under the seat, all I could see was one of her hind legs," Trujillo said. "Her leg began to twitch and shake and I thought she was going into convulsions." Another SEAACA officer arrived and, after confirming the car's doors were locked, broke the driver's side rear window and removed the dog, Reyes said. Bella was transported to a veterinary clinic in Downey where she was treated and remains under care. The owner of the vehicle, who was not identified, was issued a citation and charged with three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, Reyes said. If convicted, he could face a year in jail and fines up to $1,000 per count.

********** Published: September 18, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 22