Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers rescued a mother dog and its puppy trapped in a car for a long time without any water in the hot summer weather.
Even though the car was in a covered parking garage, the temperature was sweltering in the confined space. Weather data indicates a high of 96 degrees.
The security team at the garage adjacent to the Wild Wild West Gambling Hall spotted an adult dog and a puppy in distress in the back seat of a parked car on July 9. A guard called police.
When officers arrived they realized the two pets were struggling for breath and panting inside the car while their owner was likely gambling inside. A sunroof and rear windows were left slightly ajar, but there was no circulation in the stale, dry air.
One officer observed that he could smash the passenger-side window without spraying the dogs with glass, because of where they were lying on the back seat and on the back floor. He did just that, recovering both dogs safely.
Video footage from a body-worn camera shows the tired, confused and panting canines in officers’ arms.
The dogs were carried to a patrol car, where they rode to veterinary care.
No arrests have been made, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. An investigation is ongoing, and the car owner’s name was not released.
The police force, however, issued a public warning: “Do not leave pets in the heat.”
Nevada law makes it a misdemeanor to leave a pet unattended inside a vehicle “if conditions, including, without limitation, extreme heat or cold, present a significant risk to the health and safety of the pet.”
Thirty-one other states have similar statutes, which vary in who can rescue animals under dangerous conditions. Fifteen states let anyone rescue an animal in distress. In Nevada, only public safety officers and animal control officers can do it on private property.
Las Vegas officers responded to two other similar emergency calls on July 10, both requiring window-smashing to save dogs.
The first involved rescuing a small dog that was trapped inside a vehicle near the Las Vegas Strip for five hours. The animal recovered with water and a cool place to rest, the police department said, once the window was in pieces.
Officers rescued another dog that same day from a hot vehicle at a Goodwill thrift store parking lot. That owner was arrested, and the dog was handed over to animal control officials.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.