Police break window to rescue dog from locked car
Appeal staff writer
A tiny Yorkshire terrier was freed from a sweltering vehicle Thursday afternoon while its teen-aged owner took in a matinee.
Deputy Dan Ochsenschlager said he was called to the Galaxy Theatres parking lot about 3:05 p.m. after an animal control officer was unable to break the window of the teen’s black Dodge Neon.
“The dog was lethargic when they pulled it out,” the deputy said.
After dousing the tiny creature with water, the dog, whose name tag read “Nesta,” came around and was taken into the custody of animal control. It was then turned over to a veterinarian.
A thermometer gauged the temperature inside the vehicle at 125 degrees after the window was broken, said Ochsenschlager.
At 3:30 p.m., a sensor at the Carson City airport reported a 91-degree outside temperature, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.
Ochsenschlager said that 20 minutes later, as he was writing up the paperwork from the incident, Nesta’s 17-year-old owner came outside.
Ochsenschlager, who works with K-9 partner Teddy, called the incident “idiotic.”
“A normal human wouldn’t turn off their car in this weather and sit in it, so why would you do that to an animal?”
Animal Control Supervisor Pat Wiggins said an animal control officer was at the scene for about 42 minutes before making the call to break into the vehicle.
“If the dog isn’t in distress, we will wait for the owner before we have to break into the vehicle,” he said.
He said when the dog began to show signs of distress, the officer called deputies.
Wiggins said the teenager and her parents were given a misdemeanor citation for confining an animal in a vehicle, which can carry a fine of up to $1,000.
He said in his years with animal control, he can’t recall ever having to break a window, but that officers go out on calls about four times a day and have removed animals from unlocked cars.
“Leave the dogs at home,” Wiggins said. “If the temperature is past 70 degrees, do not bring them because the dog will end up with us.”
– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.