October 30, 2014

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Man charged with animal cruelty for leaving Chihuahua in hot car

LORAIN — What could possibly go wrong with leaving a dog in a locked car with little ventilation in 90-degree heat for two-and-a-half hours?

That was city resident Clarence Owens’ contention when questioned around 1:30 p.m. Saturday by police about why his Chihuahua appeared to be suffering from heat stroke inside Owens’ car. The dog was panting fast with its eyes closed and tongue sticking out, according to police Officer Juan Rodriguez’s report. Rodriguez wrote that all the windows in the car were rolled up except for the rear window, which was barely rolled down.

Rodriguez said he unsuccessfully tried to open the car door by reaching through the cracked window for about 10 minutes until Owens showed up with a Fligner’s bag and said he’d been shopping and had left the dog in the car since about 11 a.m.

“Owens further stated that he kept checking on the dog, but that he did not take him out,” Rodriguez wrote. “Owens explained that that his dog has been in the vehicle in the past and that he was always good after (Owens) returned to the car.”

Rodriguez wrote that as he was speaking to Owens he could see dog feces and urine on the car’s floorboard. The dog was turned over to the Lorain County dog warden for medical treatment. Owens, 73, of the 800 block of W. 17th St., was charged with animal cruelty.