MEDFORD, Ore.– One dog is dead and two others were rescued from harm after all three were left in hot cars during the day last Sunday.
According to Medford Police, the dog was a 4-year-old Miniature Pinscher that was left in a car with no windows rolled down for most of the day. Police say the owner, 22-year-old Charles Raymond Sutton, was arrested and is being charged with multiple crimes. The other owner, a 40-year-old man, was cited for animal neglect.
When police found Sutton, he told investigators he fell asleep in the room and forgot about the dog. Lt. Mike Budreau of the Medford Police Department says Sutton was charged with animal abuse which is a felony in Oregon. Reports also show heroin was found in his possession which police say could be a contributing factor into why he may have left the dog in the car.
Last year, Medford Police responded to 98 calls of dogs in cars. This year, it has been 36 so far, with this incident being the first death of the year for a dog left in a car.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says every year hundreds of dogs die after being left in a car. The organization says temperatures in a car can rise almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
An independent study from the Department of Geosciences from San Francisco State University showed the inside of cars left in the sun at various outdoor temperatures ranging from 72 degrees to 96 degrees Fahrenheit rose, on average, about 40 degrees.
“Really it’s just about not taking your dog with you in the warm days,” said Lt. Budreau. “Unless you planning on taking the dog with you inside.”
Police understand there are circumstances where someones only option may be to take their dog where they go. In most cases police have responded, Lt. Budreau says people are not leaving their dogs in the car with the intention to harm them. Many don’t realize that shade and cracked windows will not help protect their dog from the heat.
“Most of the time people don’t leave with their dog with the intent of leaving their dog in the car,” he said. “It just kind of happens where they end up parking in the shade and the sun shifts or it’s a cloudy day and all of a sudden the sun comes out.”
People could still face charges for neglect of an animal or could even end up paying for a broken window if they leave their dog in a car for too long. For those trying to rescue an animal that could be in trouble, you are allowed to get in someone’s car but it’s suggested you call the police instead to handle the situation.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.