Dog Left in 116-Degree Car at Middletown Stop & Shop

A Middletown woman is facing animal cruelty charges after a Stop & Shop employee called police to report a dog left in a hot car and the dog ran a high temperature.

Cristal Garcia, 22, asked police for her dog back when she returned to the Stop & Shop parking lot at 416 Main Street on July 23, claiming she had only been inside for five or 10 minutes, police said.

The store employee tried to page Garcia, but no one came to customer service, and called police, according to police. The driver of the car came outside to unlock the car, stating that the dog's owner was in the store buying groceries, police said.

When police arrived, the dog was panting heavily and witnesses were giving the canine water.

Temperatures were about 90 degrees outside and the animal control officer measured the car temperature as 116 degrees even after the driver had started the car to run the air conditioning.

The animal control officer brought the dog to Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center in Middletown for evaluation. The vet took the dog's temperature, measuring it at 104 degrees. The animal control officer told police that 101 degrees is a normal temperature for a dog.

After the dog's body temperature cooled down, the animal control officer returned the dog to the owner, police said.

Police charged Garcia with animal cruelty and she is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 6 at 9 a.m.

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