Dogs left in hot car in NW Albuquerque
June 27, 2019 10:28 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque woman is upset after she found a pair of dogs inside a vehicle Wednesday, at the hottest time of day. Not only that, but she claims she got the run around after reaching out for help.
Officials said she did everything right – including reaching out to Albuquerque police – but she said it took city's Animal Welfare too long to respond.
Christy Van Inwegen was going into Hobby Lobby at Cottonwood Mall when she spotted two dogs inside a Jeep Wednesday afternoon. She was worried because it was extremely hot outside – 94 degrees according to KOB 4 weather records.
The windows were cracked, but just barely. She said the dogs were panting.
"I immediately grabbed my phone and called 242-COPS, which is the non-emergency line," Van Inwegen said.
When no one answered, she called 911. Dispatchers told her to call 311.
In the meantime, Van Inwegen said the dog owners had returned, but she didn't hear from animal control until an hour later.
"I thought about breaking the window but I wasn't sure what the law states," she said.
That was just one of the questions KOB 4 took to the city's Animal Welfare Department Thursday.
"It's a life or death situation. If dog's unconscious and not responding to you, very shallow breathing, then yes," said Lt. Thomas Romero.
Romero also said that response times for animal control depend on where officers are when they get the call. Unfortunately, dogs in cars are not uncommon this time of year.
He wanted to remind the public that it's illegal when it gets hot out.
"Some states allow them to leave their dog in a vehicle. But us, you know if it's hot, it's a no-go," Romero said.
Officers said leaving a pet in the vehicle can actually turn into a fourth-degree felony, which means a fine or even jail time.
Updated: June 27, 2019 10:28 PM
Created: June 27, 2019 10:02 PM
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