Hot Car Deaths: Dog Found Dead Inside California Woman’s Car, Two Other Pets ‘In Severe Distress’

California woman Jennifer Arriaga, 42, was arrested on Sunday after she allegedly left her pets inside a hot car, resulting in the death of one of her dogs.

According to CBS News, Ontario, California police found two dogs and a cat inside Arriaga’s parked vehicle, where temperatures had reportedly gone over 110 degrees. Authorities broke Arriaga’s car windows open, upon which they rescued the animals. At the time of their rescue, one of the dogs and a cat had survived, but were in a state of “severe distress,” as stated by the Inland Valley Humane Society. The second dog, unfortunately, suffered a hot car death after being exposed to the extreme temperatures.

“One of the dogs was deceased, the cat the other dog were very much in distress, overheated, our officer immediately took possession of those two dogs and took them for medical care,” said Inland Valley Humane Society senior investigator Sylvia Lemus.

“Both dogs were sharing a crate, so the one that was alive was still in the crate with the dog that was deceased, very sad.”

It isn’t sure how long Jennifer Arriaga had allegedly kept the animals inside the hot car, but the surviving dog and cat are now in the care of veterinarians. Arriaga, a native of San Dimas, California, was charged with three felony counts of animal cruelty, and was still in jail as of Monday evening, with bond set at $50,000, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles.

In her statement quoted by FOX 11 Los Angeles, Lemus warned about how hot car deaths can happen even if a pet is left inside a vehicle for 30 minutes without any ventilation, and how such actions are illegal under California state laws.

“It’s extremely hot weather, inside your vehicle it gets about 30 degrees warmer inside in a matter of 30 minutes, there’s no ventilation and it can cause death to your pets. It is unlawful to leave your pet in a vehicle under penal code 597.7 you are not to leave any animals in an unattended vehicle.”


Jennifer Arriaga’s case isn’t the first example of hot car deaths involving dogs in recent days. According to the Inquisitr, DeKalb County police dog Mojo was allegedly left by his handler, school resource officer Courtney Fuller, inside a squad car for several hours in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Reports suggest that a “situation” with Fuller’s newborn child had distracted the officer, causing him to forget about Mojo, who remained in the back of his vehicle.

A similar incident also took place in the summer of 2016, when Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officer Chad Holland was found guilty of leaving drug-sniffing dog Totti inside a hot car. The dog died hours after being discovered in a distressed state, having spent about two and a half hours inside Holland’s patrol car.

Jennifer Arriaga is scheduled to appear on Tuesday in front of a Rancho Cucamonga court, for her alleged role in the hot car death of her pet dog.

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