An Oak Lawn Police Officer on BIKE PATROL, was flagged down by a woman who frantically stated that a dog had been locked inside a parked vehicle in the Mariano’s parking lot and had been in the car for five minutes.
It took the officer another five minutes to locate the car which had its windows “slightly opened” according to police reports. The officer stated that the dog was “panting and barking”.
After another five minutes had gone by, the owner of the vehicle, Rachel Thigpen, returned to her automobile claiming that she had been in the store for “five minutes” to buy two salads.
The officer observed the two salads in her possession but after a discussion, Thigpen agreed that she was in the store for about fifteen minutes.
The good news for Thigpen is that the dog, a Yorkie Bichon, weighing ten pounds, did not appear to struggle to breathe after the air conditioning was turned on.
The bad news for Thigpen is that the police officer cited her for a violation for cruelty to animals. She has a hearing before the village adjudicator on August 18th at 6 p.m.
PETA claims on its website that “every year, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car—even for “just a minute”—while they run an errand. Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.” The quick action by the woman complainant, who didn’t identify herself to the police, and the police officer may have saved the dog’s life. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, according to PETA.
Actress Jennifer Beal was caught last week allegedly leaving her German shepherd in a locked car. She brushed aside the criticism saying it wasn’t a problem.