Dog Survives Triple-Digit Heat Inside Of Car; Owner Let Off With Warning

Shoppers at a northeast Fresno shopping center sprung into action Tuesday afternoon to alert authorities of a dog left inside of a car during the peak of{} the Central Valley's latest heat wave.

Law enforcement officials say a man who should not have been behind the wheel of a car in the first place left his dog inside of a car around 1 p.m. near First Street and Gettysburg Avenue.

Animal control officers arrived and checked the dog for any problems.

Officers then warned the man he could have been fined $100 because of the extreme weather conditions. But because the dog did not appear to be in distress, the man was only given a warning.

However, if the dog had been seriously hurt, the owner could have faced a misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 and up to 6 months in jail.

A second offense would result in the same fine and jail sentence regardless of whether the animal suffers an injuries or not.

Police say the man's license is restricted and he is only allowed to drive to and from work. Since police did not physically see the man behind the wheel of the car, however, they decided to have him leave his car at the shopping center and walk his dog home.

Law enforcement officers who see an animal in a car that appears to be suffering are legally permitted to do whatever is necessary to remove the animal.

This means that in addition to fines, a car owner may have to pay to repair a broken window or door lock.