Dog Dies After Being Left in Hot Car in Southington: Police

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A dog died after being left in a hot car in Southington, police said, and the woman who the dog belonged to has been arrested.

Officers responded to Southington Library on June 29 after a dog owner, Suzy Rivers 37, of Cheshire, called police to report that her dog was inside her car and wasn't moving, police said.

Officers found Rivers’ 1-½ year old Boston terrier was dead. First aid was performed on the dog, but it was not successful.

Police said the dog had been left in the car for a little over three hours.

Police said River’s vehicle was parked in full sunlight in 81-degree weather. Southington Animal Control Officers determined it was between 99 and 105 degrees in the car, police said, and Boston terriers commonly experience breathing problems and are susceptible to stress and excessive heat.

Southington police urge people to leave their dogs at home in air conditioning if they are going into stores that they cannot bring pets into.

They said dogs don’t shed heat like people do, they shed heat by respirating, and they cannot cool done.

On a day like today, with the sun out and temperatures in the mid-80s, the temperature in a car that is parked and shut off will rise around one degree per minute for the first half hour.

So, the temperature in a car could reach 100 degrees in around 15 minutes and get closer to around 120 degrees in half an hour, which could be fatal for a dog.

Police said surveillance video from the library showed Rivers entering the library at 11:57 a.m. and leave around 3 p.m. and the time stamp from the video confirmed Rivers was inside the library while her dog was in her vehicle for a little over three hours.

River arrived at the library at around noon and had a conversation with a library employee before she was seen outside the library with another library employee, police said.

Employees saw the library employee inside Rivers’ vehicle and became suspicious, police said. Upon going to check on the situation, it was discovered Rivers dog was moved outside the vehicle and deceased, according to police.

Witnesses told police that the driver’s side rear window of Rivers’ vehicle was open about six inches while it was parked.

Rivers turned herself in to Southington Police and she was charged with cruelty to animals and released on a $15,000 non-surety bond. She is scheduled to appear at the New Britain Superior Court on Aug. 3.

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