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On Friday, June 16, 2017 in Rock Hills, South Carolina, a police officer was called to rescue two 5-week-old pit bull puppies locked inside a car in 94 degree heat.
The police officer, Officer Robin Gander, was able to pull them out of the car before they suffered any permanent damage. It was clear they were very overheated. “They were very hot to the touch, panting heavily, crying out,” she said.
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Gander had responded to a 911 call when a gym manager heard the animals crying, according to WSOC. After she was able to get them out, Gander used what she had on hand — a cooler for her lunch — to bring some relief to the puppies.
“So, I was actually able to fit them into my cooler so they could sit on something cool, and then just had the (air conditioning) blasting, just blowing on them,” she said.
The woman who police say left the puppies in the car, Latoya Reid, had been in a nearby hair salon. Reid told authorities she was waiting on someone who was buying the puppies and had only left them alone about 15 minutes. Gander said the buyer never came.
Fifteen minutes inside a hot car can be enough for dogs to sustain brain damage, according to pet travel site Trips with Pets. On a 90 degree day, 15 minutes is enough to raise the temperature to 113 degrees inside a car.
Reid was arrested and charged with ill treatment of animals. Because the court case against her is pending, the puppies aren’t yet available for adoption. They’re currently being cared for by animal control.