PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- A cat and dog were locked in a vehicle outside a Publix Supermarket at 2310 Tamiami Trail on Tuesday, July 23, according to a Punta Gorda Police news release.
Police received a call about the black cat and black Dachshund being in distress, and they discovered the pair inside a black Mercedes Benz with the windows up. It was 89 degrees outside with a heat index of 97.
After unsuccessfully searching for the owner, officers were able to free the animals from the vehicle by using a window hammer. They were both taken to a local veterinarian for evaluation.
The feline was treated for heat exhaustion, but both animals are expected to make a full recovery. Charlotte County Animal Control cited the vehicle's owner Nataliya Nekrasova, 48, for two counts of animal cruelty.
Punta Gorda Police would like to remind citizens that leaving pets in a vehicle could have tragic consequences. Exterior temperatures around 90 degrees coupled with the Florida humidity, can cause the interior of a vehicle to reach temperatures up to 160 degrees in minutes.
Animals become incapable of ridding themselves of excess heat at such high temperatures, which can result in brain damage and even death. The Punta Gorda Police takes a very aggressive stance on the welfare of these defenseless creatures.
First Coast News