When a puppy spends time locked inside a hot car it can be fatal. A Chihuahua mix puppy locked inside a hot car on a sweltering day in Kansas City was very fortunate to be rescued by Kansas City police officer, Jeff O’Rear and his partner, Erik Winter.
Officer O-Rear couldn’t stop thinking about the puppy he’d rescued and decided to adopt it.
The six-month-old Chihuahua mix was waiting for its owners in the Wilshire Plaza parking lot on a Saturday. Sometimes owners are unaware of how a parked car on a hot day can become a death trap for an unfortunate animal.
It doesn’t take long for the core temperature of the animal to rise to dangerous levels when exposed to sweltering heat. The pup had already been in the car for nearly two hours when a passerby realized it was in trouble.
Officer Jeff O’Rear and his partner responded to the urgent call from the passerby. A crowd had already gathered around the car and they used a batton to break the back window.
When they finally managed to open the car, the dog was lying on his back with all four legs pointed into the air and his tongue dangling out of his mouth.
O’Rear told 41 Action News that seeing that the nearly-dead pup was one of the toughest moments of his career and he saw many horrific scenes when he worked as a tactical response officer in a violent neighborhood.
O’Rear took the puppy to a nearby pet store and it spent the night in a vet hospital. The poor puppy revived successfully but his internal temperature was estimated to have reached about 107 degrees on a day when the heat index peaked at 110 degrees.
The owners of the puppy were charged with animal cruelty after they were found and they had their rights to own the animal revoked. Officer O’Rear’s involvement with the puppy didn’t stop with its rescue.
He couldn’t get the vulnerable puppy out of his mind – it had been one of the most callous acts from a pet owner he had ever witnessed in all the years he had worked as a police officer. He was so disheartened by the human neglect that had nearly led to fatal heatstroke.
O’Rear knew that his two daughters, Melaina and Michelle, would love the pup and wanted to make sure he would live like a king for the rest of his life after what he had been through.
He and his wife, Paula, kept the adoption a secret from their two daughters until they picked up the dog from the KC Pet Project in Zona Rosa.
The two girls were thrilled by their surprise. When an animal is rescued, an instant bond is often created with the rescuer, as it was in this case. Fortunately, this puppy now has a loving home and plenty of attention.