BEAUMONT, Tex. (CBS/KFDM) -- Beaumont Animal Services rescued a puppy Monday that was left inside a car in which the interior temperature reached at least 125 degrees.
It's a crime that can mean jail time for the owner and sometimes leads to the death of a pet.
Beaumont Police, Animal Services and firefighters responded to a report of a dog left in a car at about 12:30 p.m. Monday outside Books-A-Million at Parkdale Mall.
They found a puppy inside a cage in the rear seat of the car. The window was down about three inches. It was about 100 degrees outside the car and investigators say it was at least 125 degrees inside.
Firefighters unlocked the door while Animal Services removed the panting dog from the hot car and placed the puppy inside an air conditioned van.
Police were searching for the owner. Leaving a dog in a parked car is a Class A Misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to as much as one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.
A representative of the Humane Society of Southeast Texas says it's received several reports Monday of dogs dying from the heat.
"It's very hot in here," Benjamin Bundrick, an officer with Animal Services, told KFDM News. "The way I look at it-would you leave your kid inside the car? The answer-of course you wouldn't leave your kid inside the car. And animals panicking and in distress."