A 13-year-old terrier was rescued by authorities earlier this month after being left in a hot car for more than 20 minutes
Police officers in Colorado came to the rescue earlier this month after a dog was left in a car for more than 20 minutes despite spiking summer temperatures.
On Aug. 7, Brighton Community Service Officers responded to a report of an unattended dog in a hot vehicle in a JC Penney parking lot around 2:30 p.m., according to a statement the Brighton Police Department shared with PEOPLE.
One of the car's windows was "barely cracked," leaving Lucy without "adequate airflow."
The authorities found the dog — later identified as a 13-year-old terrier and chihuahua mix named Lucy — seeking shade and cooler temperatures by the vehicle's pedals.
The officers "immediately knew that the dog was in distress and trying to escape the heat."
Temperatures in the area had hit 84 degrees that day, the police department confirmed with the National Weather Service, and after using an infrared thermometer, the car's internal temperature was estimated to be at least 113 degrees.
After attempting to locate the vehicle's owner within the store — announcements were made over the PA system, to no avail, according to the authorities — the officers broke the passenger side window to rescue Lucy.
She was "panting and drooling" and was placed in an air-conditioned kennel to cool down.
In an update shared on Twitter (now known as X), the Brighton Police Department said the dog's owner was "issued a summons for animal neglect" after Lucy had been rescued from the car.
According to the department's statement, the dog's owner is "elderly" and didn't hear the announcements made inside the store.
The owner then apologized and thanked the officers for their actions.
"Remember, running into the store for 'just a minute' can be fatal for a dog," the police department reminded residents in the update shared on Twitter.
The aptly-timed rescue came just a month after a dog was found dead in a hot car at a nearby Denver golf course on July 4.
The vehicle's owner told authorities he had parked his car around 8:45 a.m. that morning, and by the time they received a distress call from a bystander around noon, the dog had already died, Denver7 reported.
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The bystander had attempted to rescue the dog and broke one of the car’s windows, but the pet had already succumbed to the heat after nearly four hours in the vehicle, the outlet reported.
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