SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Arden Fair Mall officials say pet owners are leaving their pets inside their vehicles while shopping, despite recent temperatures that have jumped well into triple digits, and newly released surveillance video shows how desperate pets become when trapped inside a broiling vehicle.
Surveillance cameras showed a German Shepherd thrashing around inside a silver sedan parked under the blistering midday sun Tuesday, when high temperatures in the Sacramento area were recorded at 102 degrees. Temperatures inside the car would have risen above 120 degrees within just a few minutes, authorities said.
The helpless dog, showing signs of extreme stress, shoved its head through a partially-opened window and desperately tried to squeeze through the small space.
The video shows the exhausted dog hanging its head out the window and breathing heavily within just a few minutes.
“You can see by him panting and drooling that he’s in need of water,” said Arden Fair Mall security director Steve Reed.
The pet’s owner walked back to his car, shopping bags in hand, and drove away before animal control officers arrived.
Two other pet owners left two Schnauzers inside their sedan at about 2:00 p.m. the same day, only cracking the sunroof open slightly to let air in. Mall security officers used surveillance footage to track down the couple inside the mall and tell them that authorities were on their way to force open the car.
The two protested that they had only been shopping for five minutes, “but they failed to realize we tracked them on camera, and they were in there for 30 minutes,” Reed said.
When told that police officers and fire crews were on their way to the scene, the two tried to sprint to their car. Emergency crews had already saved the two dogs before they arrived.
“You know, this is the season children will be left in cars. We’ve had that happen before,” Reed said. “It doesn’t take that long for there to be a fatality.”
The dog owners in both incidents won’t face any charges. Mall security officers have no authority to detain drivers on animal cruelty charges, and due to budget cuts, animal control officers could not respond to the incidents fast enough to catch the pet owners in the act.