How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in NY State – A Manual of Procedures

Example 10 – Animals in Hot Car

The Complaint

A store employee called the local humane agency and reported that two dogs were in a car in a store parking lot in hot sun. He said he had seen the car there several times before with the dogs in it.

The Response

  1. The investigator responded and found the car in the hot sun with two dogs inside. The windows were up, and the dogs were panting very heavily. Their behavior indicated that they were in immediate danger of dying (exigent circumstances).
  2. He took photographs of the dogs in the car.
  3. He tried the door and found it to be unlocked. With the store keeper as a witness, he secured the dogs using leashes and removed them from the car. (He would have broken the windows had the doors been locked.) Agriculture and Markets, Article 26, Section 353-D, states, “Where the operator of such a vehicle cannot be promptly located, a police officer, peace officer, peace officer acting as an agent of a duly incorporated humane society, emergency 13 medical services personnel, paid firefighter, or volunteer firefighter who in the performance of such volunteer firefighter’s duties are directed to respond to a call for assistance for such animal may take necessary steps to remove the animal or animals from the vehicle.”
  4. He moved them to a shaded area and had the store keeper bring water to cool the animals. He poured some of the water over the dogs and gave them some to drink.
  5. The owners returned and expressed great concern for the dogs. They said that the family had lost their home and were currently living out of the car, but planned to get an apartment.

Charges Brought

Because of the extenuating circumstances and the concern of the owners, the investigator chose not to charge them, but instead worked out an agreement whereby the owners agreed to leave the dogs in the care of the humane society until they found an apartment.

Supporting Documents Follow

Not available