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Dog dies in hot vehicle, owner shares his side of story

Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) -- The summer-like heat has already brought tragedy. A rottweiler was left inside a vehicle Saturday afternoon and died of heat exhaustion. The owner said he loved the dog and never intended something like this to happen.

"What a nice dog. It really was a nice dog."

Shocking news to residents and shop owners on a small Rochester street. A well-known rottweiler is now dead, killed by heat exhaustion when she was left inside a Chevy Blazer Saturday afternoon with windows closed tight, in almost 80 degree weather.

"I loved that dog. My son loved that dog. I would never do anything to hurt her. I miss her so bad right now, I could just, I could cry."

Dog owner Kirk Rucker says the dog loved the car and would sometimes need treats to entice the dog to leave. He says he doesn't believe the dog died of heat exhaustion because he's been doing the same thing for 6 years.

"It wasn't that hot that day. It was only 79, 80 degrees. I mean, she was alright. The top window was cracked. She was fine."

Police say an officer arrived on scene Saturday afternoon and saw the rottweiler visibly distressed and panting heavily.

"Death by heat stroke is not a pretty way to go."

Veterinarian Eve Richer says when dogs overheat they can start to bleed internally and have seizures. She says the temperature inside a car can reach 40 degrees higher than the temperature outside.

"As soon as we get above about 70 outside, it's actually very dangerous to have a dog in a car even with the windows open," says Richer.

Which means, now that the summer heat has arrived, pets should never be left unattended inside a vehicle.

Rucker will face a felony mistreatment of an animal charge. He says he plans to sell his Chevy Blazer and donate the profits to a local animal shelter.
 

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It is very sad that humans don't have half the brain they are born with. Year after year ithis stuff happens to pets and human children, yet the adults don't learn. ARRG!!!!!
 

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Idiot...what does he believe the dog died from? The windows were closed or cracked just a little...hot/warm day, little air circulating - temps rise quickly in a car!

Selling the car won't bring his dog back...I hope he learned his lesson.

I leave my dogs in the van, but only if it's a nice day and the back liftgate AND both side doors are open, with three fans running and I park in the shade. If I have to stop anywhere and lock up the van, I'll leave it running with the AC on and lock the doors...
 

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Tinted windows help. And you need two windows cracked for air circulation.

King loves to ride. If I have to go somewhere I go early in the day when its cooler. Back window of the truck is always opened.

Something I do is when I get out of the truck somewhere I put my hand to the ground. If the ground is warm I restart the truck & leave the air on. But with King in the truck I don't worry about locking the doors. LOL

Ross
 

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Tinted windows help.

But with King in the truck I don't worry about locking the doors. LOL

Ross
Ross, my girls are crated in the van - when it was just Ben in the Jeep or the Intrepid, I didn't lock it either - he was protective of 'his car' even though I didn't like it...he also barks when in the van...but who wants to break into a mini van with a big ole Rottie head decal on the back window and a barking dog inside - only a fool would risk it.

The back windows on the van are tinted - I want to have the front windows done eventually. I also have a front window shade and the sunblocking screens like parents have for kids on the rear windows...except my seats haven't seen the light of day in quite a while. The day we bought the van I folded down the seats right there in the dealership lot and put the crates in! Dealer must have though I was nuts - nope...nuts would have been if I'd brought the dogs with me when we picked it up (I considered it)!
 

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Stories like this just make me so sad. I can't even imagine what was going through this poor dogs mind. I bet he stared at the window of the car hoping his owner would come back and save him. When will people learn? It only takes a few minutes for a car to over heat. That "few minutes" you run into the store, is too much. Especially since that "few minutes" often ends up being a few more then you thought. What a sad and shameful loss. Poor pup. :(
 

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This is so sad! That Poor dog, in Arizona actually you can not leave your dog in your car alone AT ALL. whether you have your air on, doors open, what ever the case, if the dog is in the car alone and someone reports it, you get fined i believe for first offense then it goes up from there.
 

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according to my instructor, a dog can go from normal to dead within 4 1/2 minutes inside a hot car.
 
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