Police: Dog almost dies in hot car in Waterbury

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Waterbury Police say a dog almost died when he was left in a hot car Wednesday afternoon.

Diem Lam and Han Pham now face animal cruelty charges. Police say the two went into a restaurant for an unknown amount of time and left the window in the car cracked. While they were gone, a passerby heard strange noises coming from the car.

“She heard some whining, sounded like a dog”, said Waterbury Deputy Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

That person called police. An animal control officer broke through the window with her baton to get to the puppy and give it the help he needed.

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“There was a very strong possibility that the dog would succumb to the heat,” said Deputy Chief Spagnolo.

The puppy was rushed to a nearby animal hospital where it was treated for heat stroke. We’re told he should be okay.

The dog is lucky because, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, hundreds of dogs across the country die each year from heat exhaustion after being left in parked cars.

“The time it takes you to go inside and get a cup of coffee in weather like this, your car can get over 115 degrees in ten minutes and it’s just not safe,” said Jennifer Ayers, with Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital.

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Ayers, and others at Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital, tries to educate the public about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars. She says there’s one sure way to tell if the heat is getting to your dog.

“They can pant to try and get off some of the excess heat, but temperatures in this degree, it’s very difficult for them to stay cool even with water,” Ayers said.

She says the passerby who called Waterbury Police did the right thing. She says it probably saved that puppy’s life.

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