RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- California officers rescued a dog that was locked in a hot car amid scorching Southern California temperatures Tuesday.
"I made the decision right away that the window needed to be broken right away because we needed to get that dog out," said Riverside Police Officer Katie Mendonca.
It was around 10:30 a.m. that someone called 911 to report the dog in a car with the windows barely cracked. It was parked on Main Street near the courthouses in downtown Riverside.
"Had that dog been in there for another 15, 20 minutes, that dog very easily could have died," Mendonca said.
An Animal Services officer used an infrared device to get a temperature from the car. The temperature recorded was 109.6.
"Leaving windows partially open is not going to alleviate the rising temperature inside vehicles," warned Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer in a press release. "A dog's life can be put in jeopardy when they're left in hot cars. It's dangerous, cruel - and it's a crime."
A Riverside officer smashed the passenger side window. The dog was retrieved and given water before being rushed to an animal shelter. The pit bull mix had an internal temperature of 104 degrees, officials said. The dog remains in the care of staff at the county's shelter in Jurupa Valley and is doing better.
Police cited the vehicle owner for leaving a pet inside a closed vehicle in dangerous conditions.
Dog rescued from 109 degree temps inside locked car