Boston Police and Inspectional Services are investigating the death of a pit bull that had been left in a hot car on Burroughs Street in Jamaica Plain Tuesday afternoon. The dog was rescued but died shortly after being taken to the MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center.
“His temperature on arrival was 109.7, which is as high as the thermometer will go, so it could have been higher than that,” said Boston Animal Care and Control Director Amanda Kennedy, according to CBSBoston.
An autopsy of the dog is expected to take place Wednesday to confirm the cause of death.
Inspectional Services said they quickly responded to a call about the dog in the car around 3 p.m. Investigators have not released the dog owner’s name or whether he is also the owner of the vehicle. The dog’s owner is reportedly from California and works in Massachusetts, according to WCVB.
The man could face felony animal cruelty charges that may include a fine and up to seven years in prison.
Last year, Massachusetts passed a bill ensuring animals can be rescued from hot cars, limiting the time dogs spend on a tether and increasing enforcement of existing prohibitions on keeping dogs in cruel conditions. The law also gives animal control officers, law enforcement officers and firefighters authority to remove an animal and cite the owner when conditions in a car are expected to threaten the health of the animal due to extreme heat or cold. The new law also prohibits dog tethering between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and when a weather advisory or warning has been issued. Tethering is permitted during these hours for less than 15 minutes and only if the dog is not left unattended.