Two officers from the Riverside County Department of Animal Services saved "Misty," a female pit bull mix.
This was temperature reading after we saved puppy from hot car in downtown Riverside this morning. pic.twitter.com/Y9KkETsgEq— RivCO animalSERVICES (@helpinRIVcoPETS) June 21, 2017
The temperature inside the vehicle was 133 degrees, said John Welsh, the department's public information officer.
"I mean, this is hell for a little puppy," Welsh said.
Officers were called around 10:30 a.m. and at that point Misty had been inside the car for at least half an hour.
The car's window was slightly open, so officers were able to use a set of tongs, normally for controlling reptiles, to open the door without breaking the glass. They rushed Misty to a shelter, where she was cooled off and treated.
She was believed to be OK after she was helped at the shelter, but officials noted the outcome could have been tragic.
"I have taken dogs out of cars that were unconscious and then when we took them to the vet they were determined to be brain dead," said Officer Cecelia Morris with Riverside County Animal Services.
The owner, whose identity was not released, was cited about $250, Welsh said.
Registered Veterinary Technician Tonya Buenrostro comforts pup left inside hot car. Pup survived 133-degree temp. pic.twitter.com/Cb7ygzgJak— RivCO animalSERVICES (@helpinRIVcoPETS) June 21, 2017
Officials also noted that dog owners should avoid taking them out for walks on hot pavement in the middle of the day.
It is now legal in California for a good Samaritan to smash a car window in order to free an animal trapped inside on a hot day. But law enforcement should be called and the person should only attempt breaking in if it appears help will not arrive in time.