Police: NH man charged with animal cruelty for leaving dog in locked hot car

Police: NH man charged with animal cruelty for leaving dog in locked hot car

MERRIMACK, N.H. — A 66-year-old New Hampshire man has been charged with animal cruelty after police say he left a dog inside a locked vehicle where temperatures rose to 103 degrees.

Leiland Stanford Stevens of Hampton Falls, N.H., who was charged with one count of animal cruelty, was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment Monday.

At around 12:30 p.m. Monday, Merrimack Police were at the Merrimack Premium Outlets and were notified by security that there was a dog left inside a locked vehicle in the parking lot.

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The officer found the vehicle, which was not parked in the shade. While the front vehicle windows were cracked open, the rear passenger area windows, where the dog was located, were closed, police said.

The officer also noticed that there was no water in the vehicle. The officer took an infrared temperature reading that revealed an interior temperature of 103 degrees.

Police later identified Stevens as the vehicle owner. Officers questioned Stevens, who had been shopping and eating lunch when police were called about the dog's welfare.

Police removed the dog from the vehicle and took the animal to the police department.

Stevens was placed under arrest. He is scheduled to appear in the Merrimack Ninth Circuit Court on June 13.

Police are urging all pet owners not to leave their pets inside their vehicle for any amount of time, since the interior of a vehicle can rapidly become hot in a short amount of time which can lead to serious injury or death of an animal.