Owner Under House Arrest After Leaving Dog in Hot Car

A small dog was left in a hot car while his owner dined at a nearby restaurant.

By Cari Jorgensen | Posted: January 8, 2015, 12:30 p.m. PST

I always assumed that every dog parent knows not to leave their dog in a hot car. Apparently I was wrong.

Last Wednesday, while 27-year-old Natalia Nieto ate at a buffet-style restaurant in Miami, her brown Chihuahua was growing increasingly warm. Trapped inside Nieto’s Nissan Altima, the small dog became more and more distressed. He was seen panting by a passerby, who called the police. The witness, who was not named, reportedly observed the dog in the car for 25 minutes, according to CBS Miami. It is unclear why the witness did not find something to break open the window to relieve the dog of his distress.


Dog in Car
Never leave your dog in a hot car. lilu13/iStock/Thinkstock

The Miami-Dade police report of the incident states that the officer on the scene "observed the small dog was sitting on the front passenger seat of the vehicle panting, followed by a disoriented and fast noisy breathing.”

The report added that the dog fell off the seat, prompting the officer to break open the window, get the dog out of the hot car and place him in the air-conditioned police car.

Officers confronted Nieto, who informed police of her whereabouts and apologized for her actions. She is currently under house arrest while the case is under investigation. Her Chihuahua has been taken to a veterinarian for treatment and is doing well.

Leaving a dog in a hot car can have serious and often deadly consequences. Luckily, Nieto’s dog was rescued before he suffered too much.

What would you do if you saw a dog trapped in a hot car? Would you call the police? Break open a window? Both? Let us know in the comments.

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