FONTANA (CBSLA.com) — A 6-year-old poodle was recovering Wednesday after being rescued from inside a locked car trunk while his owner shopped at a Fontana grocery store, officials said.
A witness notified police Tuesday after he observed an adult male about 12:20 p.m. place a poodle in the trunk of a Toyota Camry before entering the store located on the 8200 block of Sierra Avenue, Fontana Police Department spokeswoman Martha Guzman-Hurtado said.
Upon their arrival, officers located the owner, who was later identified as Jose DeJesus Gonzalez, 60, and were able to retrieve the dog named Max from the trunk, Guzman-Hurtado said.
When Supervising Animal Services Officer Jaime Simmons noticed the pup was showing signs of heat exhaustion and had a temperature of over 105 degrees – far above the normal temperature of about 99-100 degrees – the officer administered emergency heatstroke triage to save Max’s life, Guzman-Hurtado said.
Simmons later said the temperature inside the trunk registered 141 degrees.
Officers took Max to General Dog and Cat Hospital in San Bernardino, where he is expected to make a full recovery.
Gonzales was arrested and faces a charge of felony animal cruelty, Guzman-Hurtado said.
Simmons urged residents across the Southland to leave their pets at home when out shopping or running errands.
“As a reminder especially during the summer months, if is illegal to leave animals unattended in a motor vehicle,” said Simmons. “Even on a 70-degree day, inside a vehicle can reach temperatures 20-30 degrees warmer, causing potential life-threatening conditions.”