St. Thomas police say a 30-year-old woman is facing animal cruelty charges after a puppy was left inside a hot vehicle.
According to police, a concerned citizen contacted them at around 3 p.m. Tuesday about a dog that was reportedly panting inside a vehicle parked on Gladstone Avenue at Metcalfe Street.
Officers arrived at the scene and located the owner inside the Elgin County Courthouse.
The four-month-old puppy was in distress when it was removed from the vehicle but was given water and has fully recovered, police say.
“We urge people to not take matters into their own hands unless the animal appears to be in severe distress where death is imminent,” said Const. Tanya Calvert.
“We prefer that you give the St. Thomas Police Service a call, and we will come out. We have the means to locate owners of vehicles and possibly come to a peaceful resolution and rescue the animal.”
Calvert said hot or not, dogs shouldn’t be left alone in vehicles.
“Even if it’s not hot outside, [you can see that some animals] are still in distress from being left alone or suffering from anxiety, or they don’t like the noise from the traffic,” she said.
“There’s always other mitigating circumstances that can occur when you leave your dog alone in a car.”
For the most part, Calvert said people seem to understand the dangers of leaving their pet in a hot vehicle, but there’s still some who don’t get the message.
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“When we look at how many calls we used to have for animals being locked in vehicles, even five years ago compared to today, [it’s much fewer],” she said.
“However, we are very proactive in continuing to send out the message to leave your pets at home and to not bring them out and leave them locked in a car, especially on a hot day.”
The accused will return to the courthouse at a later date to answer to the charges.
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