Dog rescued from hot car at Clackamas shopping mall - KPTV - FOX 12

Dog rescued from hot car at Clackamas shopping mall

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CLACKAMAS, OR (KPTV) -

Clackamas County deputies and firefighters rescued a small dog from a hot car Thursday afternoon in the Clackamas Promenade.

Witnesses said they called authorities after it became apparent the dog had been in the car for more than an hour. 

Gabrielle Susi said she and a friend came to the mall to shop when they were approached by a woman who said she’d been watching a dog locked in the car during the 90-plus degree heat. 

Susi said the woman told them she’d noticed the dog on her way into a store, but realized the dog was still there when she came back out nearly an hour later. 

Susi said the dog was panting and distressed, so they decided to call police. 

Susi said a fire crew was then called out, and firefighters were able to unlock the car and save the dog. The dog had to be carried out of the car. 

She said the owners came out once they realized their car alarm was going off. 

“To imagine being in a car for that long, we were so angry,” Susi said. “It was frustrating, and to see the gentleman didn’t even come out until his alarms had been going off awhile — I just don’t see how you can lave your animal in the car that long and think it’s OK." 

A Clackamas Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told FOX 12 investigators are still working on the report. It is unknown whether the dog’s owner was ticketed or if the dog was taken into protective custody.

Oregon law states people are not allowed to break into cars to rescue animals, although first responders can do so to remove animals from dangerous situations. 

The Dove Lewis Animal Hospital reports heat exhaustion can set in within just minutes for pets.

Veterinarian Dr. Holly Ahlgrim said there is no rule of thumb for what temperature it’s safe to leave pets in cars because it depends on direct sunlight and airflow, among other things. She did say that if outside temperatures reach 65 degrees, it can mean extremely uncomfortable or dangerous heat levels for pets inside cars.

“I tell people that if they can’t sit in their (parked) car without the AC running, then neither can their pets,” Ahlgrim said.

Ahlgrim added that breeds with short snouts, such as pugs and bulldogs, are even more at risk for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. 

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation said on an 80-degree day, a car can reach temperatures of more than 120 degrees in less than an hour. 

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