SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — The South Euclid Police Department has been awarded an award from PETA for the rescue of a small dog from a hot car last month.
A Compassionate Police Department Award is heading to South Euclid from PETA after the actions of Officer Matt Arko in June.
On June 30, around 4:14 p.m., Arko was on patrol when he noticed a small dog that was attempting to jump out of a car in the parking lot of Petsmart on Cedar Road.
There was no one inside of the car and the temperature outside was 86 degrees, police said. Arko ran the vehicle’s license plate and attempted to locate the dog’s owner but was unable to do so.
Since Arko could not locate the owner, he removed the dog from the window and gave it water, which police said the dog began “chugging.” The dog’s owner later exited a nearby restaurant. She was charged with cruelty to animals, according to police.
"A parked car can become a death trap for a dog in a matter of minutes, even if the windows are rolled down," says PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "PETA hopes this story will inspire people everywhere to act immediately to save dogs just like this one from horrific, preventable deaths."
PETA said that on a 70-degree day the temperature in a car can be between 10 and 120 degrees, and on a 90-degree day, which is closer to the conditions of the South Euclid rescue, temperatures in a car can reach 160 degrees in just a short amount of time.
Arko and the South Euclid Police Department will receive a framed certificate of the award.