By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)
Source: Mohave County Sheriff’s Office (Information and Press Release)
Picture: Mohave County Sheriff’s Office (Courtesy)
Fort Mohave, Arizona: Criminal citations were issued on 2 people for animal cruelty and dog seized for safety reasons after dog found left inside vehicle on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022.
According to a press release from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 1:48 PM, Animal Control Officers were called to a business in the 5200 block of Highway 95 in Fort Mohave for a report of a dog left inside a vehicle. AC Officers noted at the time the call was received, the outside temperature was 109 degrees.
Once on scene, AC Officers contacted two witnesses, who advised they observed a male and female subject enter the business, leaving the small dog inside the non-running vehicle with the windows cracked. After several minutes, the witnesses called law enforcement and removed the dog from the unlocked vehicle. While waiting for AC Officers to arrive, the dog’s owners exited the business and were confronted by the witnesses. When advised that law enforcement was on the way, the two subjects left the scene in their vehicle, leaving the dog behind. AC Officers noted that upon arrival, the dog was in moderate distress but did not require medical attention.
A records check revealed the name and address of the male and female subject. AC Officers responded to the address and made contact with both subjects, who admitted to leaving the dog inside the vehicle but claimed it was only for a short time. Both subjects were advised to meet at the Mohave Valley Substation the next morning to discuss the possibility of regaining custody of the dog.
At approximately 4:36 PM that evening, dispatch received a call from the female subject, who was attempting to report that her dog had been stolen from her vehicle earlier in the day. The female subject was advised by deputies that the dog had not been stolen, but in fact, rescued from her vehicle by the witnesses. Video surveillance from the business was obtained and revealed that the male and female subject had been inside the business for a total of twenty-four minutes.
The following morning, both subjects met AC Officers at the substation. Officers made the decision to issue criminal citations for Animal Cruelty to both subjects and seize the dog for safety reasons. The dog was transferred to the Mohave County Animal Shelter pending a custody hearing.
Arizona House Bill 2494 was passed in May 2017 as a way to end hot-car deaths. This law allows Good Samaritans to take action without the risk of civil liability if they rescue a child or a pet from a hot car. We recommend everyone familiarize themselves with the specifics of this law before removing a child or animal from a vehicle. Arizona HB 2494 can be viewed at: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/1R/laws/0301.pdf
The appropriate actions taken by the witnesses in this incident saved the life of the dog, named Phillip.
Great work to the 2 witnesses, Animal Control Officers and Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.