SAGAMORE HILLS — Whether a Columbus woman will get her puppy back will depend on the outcome of her court case after police said they rescued the female mastiff from her heated car Wednesday afternoon.
According to Stow Municipal Court records, police filed a second-degree misdemeanor cruelty to animals charge against the 21-year-old woman on Friday. She is scheduled for a Sept. 4 arraignment before Judge Lisa Coates.
Police said the puppy, which is estimated to be about 6 weeks old, was turned over to the care of the Humane Society of Summit County pending a decision by the court as to whether the woman will get her back. Sagamore Hills Animal Hospital, where the puppy was taken, reported Thursday that she was doing well.
In a message posted on their Facebook page Wednesday, police warned the temperature in an enclosed vehicle can shoot up 20 to 40 degrees on a hot day.
“Today, Officer [Tim] Ellis and Officer [Anthony] Pistone did a great thing. They rescued this little one from inside a locked vehicle,” said the post.
According to a police report, a woman walking her dog along Augusta Lane reported she believed a dog might be locked in a vehicle parked on the street outside a home at around 3:40 p.m. Police said they found the vehicle locked with windows open only about a half inch, not enough to allow air circulation within the vehicle. It was sunny and the temperature was about 90 degrees at the time, police said.
Police said they saw an animal cage in the back of the vehicle, mostly covered by two blankets, and they heard what sounded like a small animal whimpering inside. An officer used a metal rod to reach in through a window opening to pull a blanket off and he saw a pillow moving as if an animal were under it, with part of the cage collapsed and pressing down on the pillow.
Police said they then used a tool to open a door and found the puppy not moving and struggling to breathe. They did not see any food or water in the cage, the report said.
One officer rushed the puppy to his cruiser which had its air conditioner on. The woman then came out of the home, told police the puppy was hers and she had been checking on her about every 45 minutes.
Police took the puppy to the hospital, where she was found to have a fever. She was placed on cold backs, given IV fluids and after a while was able to lift her head and drink water from a bowl.
Police said that when an officer spoke to the owner again later in the day, she told him that she thought it would be OK to leave the puppy in the vehicle so long as she checked on her periodically.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.