Animal cruelty charges leveled after dogs left in Park City vehicle |

Animal cruelty charges leveled after dogs left in Park City vehicle

by Jay Hamburger, THE PARK RECORD

A man left two dogs in a vehicle in Park City during what was a hot Sunday afternoon, prompting Summit County Animal Control to cite him on animal cruelty charges and other offenses, the authorities said.

Neither of the dogs succumbed to the heat, but the incident was another in a series of cases involving similar circumstances in Park City since the middle of June. The authorities caution dogs should not be left in vehicles during the summer with the windows closed or barely open, indicating the dogs could overheat inside.

Delores Ovard, the field supervisor at Summit County Animal Control, said the case was logged at 4:41 p.m. in a parking lot in the vicinity of Empire Avenue and Manor Way. Phil Kirk, a Park City Police Department captain, said officers responded to the location twice. It was hotter than 90 degrees outside, he said. Both of the dogs, in a sport utility vehicle, appeared to be in distress, he said.

They are golden retrievers, Ovard said. Animal Control responded to the scene and took possession of the dogs. They were later released to the ex-wife of the man suspected of leaving the dogs in the vehicle. The former wife’s name was on the dog tags, Ovard said.

"They were very stressed. They were panting," Ovard said, describing the ex-wife as being very concerned with the situation.

Summit County Animal Control charged the man with two counts of cruelty to animals, which are both misdemeanors, according to Ovard. The level of misdemeanor was not immediately available. The most serious misdemeanor, categorized as a class A, is punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine upon conviction while the least serious, a class C, is punishable by 90 days in jail and a $750 fine if the person is convicted.

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Ovard said the man was also cited on two counts of not having licenses for the dogs and two counts of not having proof the dogs were vaccinated against rabies.

Summit County Animal Control did not immediately provide information about the man’s age and residence.

The case occurred as Park City experienced a spell of especially hot June weather. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the high 80s later this week, according to the National Weather Service. Ovard has said cracking a window is not enough to keep a dog inside safe from the heat.

The Police Department, meanwhile, received other complaints last week involving dogs left inside vehicles. On June 27 at 1:08 p.m., a dog was reported to have been left in a vehicle on Snow Creek Drive. The windows were cracked, the police were told. Public police logs indicated the dog was barking but did not appear to be in distress. On June 25, the police at 6:24 p.m. received a report of two dogs locked in a vehicle with the windows closed on Park Avenue. The police learned the dogs were inside the vehicle for a short amount of time, according to department logs.

Another case was reported on June 22. At 6:20 p.m. that day, two dogs were reported to be in a vehicle on Main Street with the windows barely cracked, the department logs said. The vehicle had been at the location for more than 30 minutes, the police were told.

The cases last week followed an earlier set of reports logged in mid-June. They included cases on Bonanza Drive, the China Bridge garage and another location in Old Town.