Police Nab PETA Award for Saving Dog From Hot Car

South Euclid - A Compassionate Police Department Award is on its way from PETA to the South Euclid Police Department after Auxiliary Officer Matt Arko rescued a small dog from a parked car on June 30th, when the temperature outside was 86 degrees.

When Arko spotted the dog, who was trying to jump out of the car's window, he ran the vehicle's license plate and attempted to find the owner in nearby businesses, but he didn't receive a response. So, as his bodycam footage shows, he removed the dog from the hot car by pulling him out through the window.

"The dog was severely dehydrated and chugged the water the officers gave him," Public Information Officer Joe Di Lillo tells PETA. Officers took the dog back to the station and found his guardian, whom they charged with cruelty to animals. "We do not tolerate animal abuse of any kind in this area," says Di Lillo.

"A parked car can become a death trap for a dog in a matter of minutes, even if the windows are rolled down," says PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "PETA hopes this story will inspire people everywhere to act immediately to save dogs just like this one from horrific, preventable deaths."

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Six dogs have already died this year from heat-related causes—and because COVID-19 is prolonging store wait times and errands, PETA is concerned that this summer could see an unprecedented number of hot weather–related animal deaths. The group offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in life-or-death situations.

The police department will receive a framed certificate and a box of vegan cookies.

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