Deputies responded to a call about a distressed dog trapped inside a hot car parked at a Florida panhandle beach on Saturday.
When deputies from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department arrived at Navarre Beach in Florida’s panhandle, outside temperatures were about 85-degrees. Temperatures inside a parked vehicle, where a young puppy was trapped inside, were easily in the triple digits.
Inside the truck, parked with all windows rolled up and no air conditioning running, deputies spotted a dark-haired puppy on the floorboard with no water, panting and shaking uncontrollably, with foam forming around her mouth.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jones gained access to the vehicle and removed the young dog and provided much needed water. The dog’s owner, Brian Hickey, was arrested, charged with one count of Animal Cruelty.
According to the arrest report, once Hickey was in handcuffs, he called officers “pigs” and said they must not have anything better to do than mess with him. He was transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail where he was booked and given a $500 bond.
Police say the dog is doing fine and remind residents to never leave a pet alone inside a parked car. It is unclear at this time whether the dog will be returned to Hickey or placed for adoption.
Under Florida law passed in 2016, good Samaritans are protected against legal action by a car’s owner if they smash a window or break into a hot vehicle to rescue a person or animal in distress as long as those breaking into a vehicle call 911 immediately after saving the person or animal and remain with the vehicle until first responders arrive.