Man charged with cruelty to animals after leaving dog unattended inside hot vehicle
A Lehighton man has been charged with cruelty to animals after he left his dog unattended inside a hot vehicle.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by David Roberts, a chief ranger with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:
At 3:31 p.m. May 27, Roberts was contacted by another park ranger and told that while they were parking vehicles in the overflow parking field, they discovered a white Toyota Camry that was parked with the windows barely open and a dog inside that was whimpering and crying loudly.
Roberts located the vehicle, which was not shaded at all from the bright sun; the front driver side window was open about 2 inches; the front passenger side window was open about 3 inches; and the vehicle doors were locked.
The Jack Russell terrier was in the driver’s foot area crying and barking, there was no water left for the animal in the vehicle, and the vehicle was not running.
Roberts used an issued door opening device to unlock the vehicle from the interior, and removed the dog.
The dog was not wearing a collar or displaying any type of licensing information, and Roberts placed a lead on him that he keeps in the patrol vehicle.
The dog was panting and warm to the touch, but was still alert.
The public address system announcement was made for the vehicle’s owner, and officers attempted to locate him.
Neel Patel, 26, returned to his vehicle at 4:27 p.m. and said he only intended to be away from the vehicle for 15 to 20 minutes.
Patel said the dog was about a 6-month-old Jack Russell terrier, and that he had left the dog’s collar at home and could not furnish any license certificate.
Patel said that he was a new dog owner, but now understood why he shouldn’t have left the dog unattended in the vehicle.
Patel faces charges of cruelty to animals, violation of rules regarding conduct on commonwealth property, and applications for dog licenses, fees and penalties.
He is currently free and scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Aug. 14 before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.