Update: Owner of Dog That Died in Hot Car To Be Charged with Animal Cruelty

The owner of a pit bull named Max that died Tuesday in a Chevy pickup truck on Burroughs Street in Jamaica Plain will be charged with one count of animal cruelty and one count of improper confinement.

Boston Police from District E-13 have opened an investigation, and the dog’s owner, who according to a source is a 31-year-old Boston man, will be summonsed to West Roxbury District Court, according to Boston Police Department spokesperson Jamie Kenneally.

City personnel accessed the truck the afternoon of Aug. 1 shortly after 4 p.m. after an employee of Stone Ground Landscaping noticed a dog in distress in the truck and called 911, according to Boston’s Inspectional Services Department. Boston Police contacted the city’s Animal Care and Control Division to meet them there. Boston Police and Boston Fire personnel arrived on scene first and accessed the truck. Max was brought to the MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center but died a short time later.

“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, per CBSBoston.

The owner was notified that the dog had been taken from his vehicle, brought to the MSPCA and had not survived. The dog had been left in the vehicle without any water, and the owner allegedly told investigators that he had fed the dog ice cream earlier in the day, according to the police report.

The city’s veterinarian, Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, an internationally recognized veterinarian with deep animal welfare and veterinary forensics experience, planned to perform a full necropsy on the dog Wednesday.

“The only effective way to keep pets safe in cars is to never leave them alone enclosed in vehicles,” Smith-Blackmore said. “The best action in a case of a dog enclosed in a hot car is early and swift removal. Never leave animals alone in a car. This is a terrible situation that could have easily been avoided.”

If residents see an animal locked in a car and are not able to immediately locate the owner, they should call 911 or contact Boston Animal Care and Control.