Dog six days in car, could go back to owner

April 26, 2013 (SEATTLE)

The little guy will soon be going back to the person who left him there.

The first thing you notice about Zipper the dog is that he's pretty darn cute. But beyond the tongue that doesn't quite fit in his mouth, you might notice he's a little lean - maybe even a bit skittish at first.

A security guard noticed the same thing, too, when he went to check out an abandoned car in a west Seattle parking lot. The car had been there six days, police say - and when they responded Sunday morning, they, too, spotted the dog all alone - no food, no water, no owner in sight.

Zipper survived the potentially deadly mix of sun and cars, but the responding officer noted she could even see his ribs. The dog appeared frightened and was shaken and appeared to be in distress.

Despite the dog's distress, the man responsible for caring for it hasn't been charged. Investigators say he's the owner's boyfriend, who was taking care of Zipper while the owner is away. Police are trying to figure out how long the dog had been left alone without anything to eat or drink.

Without animal neglect charges, Zipper is scheduled to be released back to the owner's boyfriend.

"We're going to have a conversation with this individual, try to educate them about the proper care for the dog and let them know that it's not acceptable to leave a dog inside a car on a warm day like today," one officer said.

A lesson for all dog owners as weather gets warmer, and police try to figure out if something criminal took place.

police are still investigating. ultimately, it's up to prosecutors to decide if zipper's owner's boyfriend should face charges of animal cruelty or neglect.

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