A Naugatuck woman was charged with animal cruelty after police said she left a dog alone in a hot car in a grocery store parking lot on Monday afternoon.
A 3 1/2-year-old German shepherd was spotted inside a vehicle with the windows "about halfway" down at the Stop & Shop Plaza in Naugatuck around 11:45 a.m. Police said around noon, the dog was "panting and appeared to be hot."
Officers were called to the parking lot where the temperature was in the 80s and the humidity was in the low 90s.
Once inside the vehicle, officers reported it "to be very hot and the dog appeared to be overheated."
Police said the German shepherd had "symptoms of having heat exhaustion."
The dog's owner Lisa Stumpo, 48, was found to be shopping while her dog was inside the vehicle.
Officers told Stumpo that it was "too dangerous" to leave the dog alone in the car, but the owner disagreed. Stumpo told police that she did not see the difference between the windows being halfway down while the car was parked or driving.
She was given a notice to appear at Waterbury Superior Court on Sept. 10.
In response to this incident, police have posted information on when it is too hot to leave your pet in the car on its Facebook page.
Police said when the temperature is above 70 degrees that dogs should be left home and not in a car. The following is the temperatures inside your vehicle versus outside of your car:
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