NEW DETAILS: Dog Left In Sweltering Car At Mall

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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A fast acting Boca Raton Police Officer may have very well saved a dog's life.

The dog, a 2-year-old American Eskimo named Gizmo, was left — with no water — in a car parked outside Sears for several hours.

We first reported the story several days ago and just received the disturbing narrative from Boca Raton police with an update from Palm Beach County Animal Control. The good news: the dog is apparently fine now. But this could have had a very sad ending had the officer not seen the dog, then checked on the dog for several hours while the owner was in the mall.

Palm Beach County Animal Control cited Veronica Coulter of Miami Gardens with violating “Section 24” which is not caring appropriately for an animal.

From the police report filed by Boca Police Officer P.J. Hall:

On 7/18/13 at 1505 hrs I responded to the North Sears parking lot at Town Center Mall 6000 W Glades Rdreference an animal complaint. I met with mall security who advised they observed a small dog unattended inside aparked car in the parking lot. The car was a Gold Ford Escape bearing FL tag xxx, I observed the small whitedog inside the car, the dog was unattended, and left with no water inside the car, the cars windows were not open,and the engine was not running. The vehicle was parked next to a tree and the weather condition was overcast cloudsat that time. At the time of my arrival the dog did not appear to be in distress. Dispatch attempted to cross referencethe registered vehicle owners phone number but the number was unlisted.

I continued to check the dogs condition, at 1530 hrs the dog appeared to be panting heavily but still responsive.

At 1600 hrs the dog continued to pant heavily and in fear for it`s safety I opened the unlocked door to ventilate the airand give it some water. The dog appeared to recover quickly and was left outside the vehicle on a leash awaiting it`sowners return. At 1620 hrs the dogs owner did not return to the car and animal control was called to the scene to takecontrol of the dog. At 1645 hrs the dogs owner had still not returned to the vehicle.

At 1656 hrs Animal Control officer Raia id#2130 arrived on scene and assessed the situation. At 1730 hrs OfficerRaia took possession of the dog and left notice of the incident inside the owners vehicle. As of 1740 hrs the dogsowner had still not returned to the vehicle and all parties left the scene. Ofc. Raia stated she would follow up thecase and cite the owner accordingly under her case # xxx.

Here's the update from Animal Control:

I responded to investigate a complaint called in by Boca Raton PD dispatch of a dog left in a car for over 2 hrs.Upon my arrival I met with Officer Hall. He was standing near the defendants car with three ladies and the small white dog. He stated all the windows were up on the car when he arrived and theladies advised him that they had been standing near the car for 2 hours waiting for the owner to come back. Hestated he tried the doors and found one to be unlocked. He stated he opened the door and the dog came to oneof the ladies that called him. They gave him water and having been sitting outside the car with the dog. Hestated he went into two stores near where the car was parked and had them page with the make and model ofthe car. He stated no one responded. I contacted Lt.White who advised I wait a little longer and see if anyonereturns to the car.The dog had a tag from Miami and I gave the # to ACC dispatch, they were able to get thedefendants information on Miami ACC web site. After about a hour I put the dog on my and had Officer put ayellow notice in the defendants car advising her the dog was impounded and could be picked up at ACC. As Iwas about to leave the area, I observed the defendant come back to her car. I met with her and advised her thatleaving her dog in the car was unlawful. I issued a citation for section 24 and returned the dog to her. The onlyreason she gave for leaving the dog was that she went to look for her son in the stores and lost track of time.