The puppy was found shivering and curled up in a ball when police arrived

By Kelli Bender
January 02, 2018 04:19 PM
Credit: Courtesy Dartmouth Police Department

Summer is over, but the dangers that come with leaving your pet alone in a parked car are still very real.

Each year there are news stories of dogs dying in horrifyingly hot parked cars after they are carelessly left there by their owners, but severe winter weather can be just as dangerous to pets abandoned in a vehicle.

On Saturday in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, as winter temperatures in the area fluctuated between 19 and 3 degrees Fahrenheit, the Dartmouth Police Department responded to a call from the North Dartmouth Mall about a puppy left unattended in a car parked in one of the mall’s outdoor lots, according to the department’s release about the incident on Facebook.

“When they arrived, officers spoke with the reporting party who informed them that the puppy’s owner had left it unattended in the vehicle for at least twenty (20) minutes without any heat,” reads the release. “Further investigation determined that the length of time that the puppy was left unattended was closer to one (1) hour.”

RELATED: Don’t Ever Leave Your Dog in the Car on a Hot Day

The responding officers found the suffering puppy “shivering and rolled up in a ball” in one of the car’s seats. Dartmouth Animal Control was brought in to safely seize the innocent animal and take the puppy to a local veterinary hospital for care.

Detective Kyle Costa of the Dartmouth Police Department told PEOPLE in an email that the puppy is still residing at a local veterinary hospital and is doing well.

In response to the incident, the puppy’s owner has been charged with cruelty to animals. Their identity will not be released until their arraignment.