Owner Who Left Dog In Hot Car For 40 Min. Admits She ‘Made A Mistake’

A woman who left her dog inside of a hot vehicle, parked outside of an Auburn, Massachusetts, shopping center, admitted to the authorities that she had “made a mistake.”

Thanks to an alert passerby, Nancy Willard’s dog, “Chloe,” was rescued before the unthinkable took place – but have no doubt, the German shepherd mix suffered while she was held inside of the 120-degree car’s interior for an agonizing 40 minutes.

On Wednesday, the Auburn Police Department highlighted Chloe’s situation as a reminder (one of many from agencies across the country) that pets should NOT be left inside of parked vehicles. In a Facebook post, the department stated:

APD Officers and Animal Control Officer A. Contois located and removed the dog from a hot car where temperatures reached 120 degrees.
Thankfully it all worked out and the dog is doing ok.

Chloe’s owner was given a $150 citation for her “mistake.” According to the Telegram, Willard had left a dish of water in the front seat, but the dog’s leash was tangled in a seat belt, preventing her from reaching it…and though the car windows were cracked, they little to dissipate the sweltering temperature inside.

It is critical for everyone to realize that the temperature climbs quickly (in 10 minutes or less) to dangerous levels inside of parked cars – even a mild day in the 70s can become deadly to pets who are left inside of a vehicle. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the interior of a car can hit a temperature of 99 degrees in just 20 minutes on a 70-degree day – click here to see a table of interior air temperatures over elapsed periods of time from the AVMA.

Despite repeated warnings from agencies nationwide, dogs continue to be left to suffer inside of parked cars. Authorities in Riverside, California rescued a young puppy from a parked car on Wednesday – the interior of the vehicle had climbed to a deadly 133-degrees by the time that the puppy was removed from the car.

The best option for pets is to leave them at home, out of harm’s way, rather than inside of a vehicle – the risk is just too great. Remember to be on the lookout for pets who may have been left in cars by their owners – if you see a dog in distress, do not hesitate to contact the authorities for assistance.

(Image and video via Auburn Police Department)

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at Examiner.com for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Sue lesmond says:

    I have smashed several windows in vehicles i.e cars and trucks to rescue animals left inside when the temperature is hot.Leaving pets unattended in the scorching heat is a death sentence.

  2. Elaine Whinston says:


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