PALM DESERT (CBS)  — A Palm Desert veterinarian was arrested when deputies responded to a 911 call and found a dead dog locked inside his car, a sheriff’s department spokesman said Sunday.

Deputies went to Desert Veterinary Specialists at 42-065 Washington St. at about 9 a.m. Saturday to respond to a call about an 8-year-old German shepherd locked inside a vehicle without food and water, said sheriff’s Sgt. Radek Horkel.

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“An officer broke the vehicle window in an attempt to save the dog’s life after not being able to locate the dog’s owner,” Horkel said. “The dog died at the scene of suspected heat exhaustion.”

As deputies were preparing to tow the car away, the dog’s owner, Douglas James Huber, of Rancho Mirage, arrived.

Huber, a 51-year-old veterinarian surgeon, was taken to the police station for questioning, Horkel said.

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Huber was booked at the Riverside County Jail in Indio on a preliminary charge of misdemeanor animal endangerment. He was released after posting $2,500 bail, jail records showed.

State law prohibits anyone from leaving an animal in an unattended vehicle if by doing so it endangers the health or well-being of the animal.

Under this law, conditions such as the weather, a lack of ventilation or lack of food or water can subject a person to criminal prosecution, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, up to $500 in fines or both if the animal is injured or dies.

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