A dog owner was fined after police found a small dog stuck in a hot car in Dedham with her leash tangled up while the owner was shopping at Costco on Wednesday, according to the Dedham Police Department.
Police responded around 4 p.m. to reports of a dog left in a car in the Costco parking lot at 200 Legacy Blvd., Dedham Animal Control Officer Deni Goldman said in a phone interview. The dog was a female, 1-year-old Yorkshire terrier poodle mix.
The car had all four windows rolled up and the owner was gone for at least 45 minutes, police said in a statement on Facebook. The dog’s leash was wrapped around the seatbelt, emergency brake, and under the driver seat as a result of the dog moving around the car.
At one point, the dog had only about six inches of mobility while her leash was entangled, and police called it a “perilous situation,” according to the statement.
Goldman entered the Costco to ask employees to ask for the owner using the public address system, but employees said they did not have that ability, she said.
The dog was eventually able to get herself untangled, the statement said.
“It was already getting warm in the car and had the dog started to panic and flail trying to free herself from entanglement, things could have escalated very quickly and very tragically,” Dedham Police wrote in the statement.
In situations like these, Goldman normally stays near the car to wait for the owner, but said she will not hesitate to extract the animal if it seems to need immediate help.
“I wasn’t going to leave unless the dog was in my arms or the owner came back,” Goldman said.
The owner of the dog returned before 5 p.m. and was fined $150, as it was their first offense, Goldman said. The owner was also educated on the dangers of leaving a pet in a vehicle and on a leash unsupervised.
Residents should not hesitate to report an animal in any dangerous situation, police said.