A small dog survived six days locked in a car without food or water. Zipper the pug-beagle mix was discovered inside the vehicle in a Seattle parking lot on Sunday.
Security guards working in the area found Zipper frightened and shaking. With the help of local police, they were eventually able free him from the car. The guards gave the little dog some food and water before releasing him to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
As reported by KOMO News, the vehicle’s owner was not in the area. Guards recall that the car was sitting in the lot for at least six days.
Officers with the Seattle police department eventually located a man who was supposed to be caring for the dog, as his girlfriend was out-of-town.
The boyfriend has not been charged, as officers have not proven how long the dog was locked inside the car. If they can prove Zipper was in the car for six days, without food or water, the man could be charged with neglect.
Renee Witt of the Seattle police department stated that they will be discussing reasonable pet care with the boyfriend.
Food and water are not the only concerns for animals locked inside a car. Like people, dogs are also at risk of heat stroke. As discussed by Paw-Rescue.org, a car parked in direct sunlight on days that reach temperatures above 60 degrees can be dangerous for a dog. It only takes 15 minutes for a dog to overheat.
Experts point out that parking a car in the shade, or rolling down windows, might not be enough to keep temperatures safe inside the car. Additionally, a dog may escape or injure itself attempting to escape through an open window.
Dogs do not sweat like humans. Dogs only sweat through their paws and cool themselves by panting.
If a dog has experienced symptoms of heat exhaustion — which may include heavy panting, vomiting, lack of coordination, and restlessness — it needs to be taken to the vet immediately.
Luckily, Zipper did not experience a heat stroke or any other long-term illness as a result of being locked in the car for six days.
[Image via Flickr]