Woman charged with misdemeanor after leaving dog inside hot car

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IDAHO FALLS – A local woman faces jail time after authorities find a dog in a hot car.

An Idaho Falls animal control officer reported finding an Alaskan Malamute in the hot vehicle in the Grand Teton Mall on August 3. The dog’s owner is now charged with animal cruelty and pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

EastIdahoNews.com does not name the woman as she was only charged with a misdemeanor.

When the animal welfare officer found the dog, they found the outside air temperature to be 80 degrees. The dog lay there, panting and moaning. A thermometer in the car showed 98 degrees. It is not clear from court documents how long the dog was left in the car.

Animal control took the dog to a veterinary clinic where they gave the dog fluids. The vet who looked after the dog found that the dog’s temperature had risen to over 103 degrees, which is way too hot for a malamute.

About halfway through the treatment, the woman arrived at the clinic, paid the bill, and the animal was returned to her.

If convicted, the woman could face up to six months in prison and / or a fine of $ 5,000.

It’s not just dogs left in hot cars. That summer, Idaho Falls police cited two parents negligently injuring children after leaving their children in a hot car while shopping at Costco.

With the western United States and eastern Idaho facing record-breaking heat this summer, first responders and health professionals have warned about how hot temperatures can get in a car.

RELATED | PMC combats vehicle heat stroke with thermometer display, “ACT” campaign

Portneuf Medical Center conducted an experiment in July and said the temperature inside a vehicle can be up to 30 degrees hotter than outside. At temperatures in the mid to high 90s range, a thermometer in the PMC test vehicle showed 124 degrees.

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