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Dog left in hot car for 8 hours in Hernando while owner delivered food in Wesley Chapel with boyfriend: HCSO

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Posted at 12:27 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 12:54:29-04

HERNANDO BEACH, Fla. — The Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) rescued a dog from a hot car Saturday night after it was left in the vehicle from at least 2-10 p.m. while its owner delivered food.

HCSO said Amy Sitaro, 49, left the car parked at Linda Pedersen Park while she delivered food for DoorDash and GrubHub with her boyfriend in Wesley Chapel.

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Authorities were alerted to the endangered animal by a fisherman who said he saw the dog in the vehicle when he returned from fishing around 10 p.m.

The sheriff's office said all of the windows were closed except for the driver's side which was slightly cracked.

Deputies responded and removed the dog through a window that was previously damaged and sealed with plastic sheeting. The sheriff's office said the dog had defecated throughout the vehicle during the time it was stuck inside.

While deputies were at the scene, Sitaro returned. She told deputies she left the park around 2 p.m. The sheriff's office said a warrant is forthcoming for her arrest on a charge of animal cruelty.

The dog was taken into custody by animal enforcement officers.

The sheriff's office said that during the time the dog was trapped in the car the temperature reached 95 degrees.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature inside a vehicle will reach 100 degrees in 25 minutes when the outside temperature is just 73 degrees. According to the NWS, animals can die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.

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