ATLANTA (WATE) – Officers are urging anyone who observes an animal inside a hot car to call 911 immediately. They said an observant person likely saved a puppy’s life.
The caller told the dispatcher she heard a dog panting and crying inside a black BMW parked outside the Mall of Georgia. When officers with the Gwinnett Police Department arrived they saw a small white and tan puppy hiding under the passenger seat.
The officer said the puppy was crying, panting, and breathing heavily. It was 7:00 p.m. and the windows to the car were cracked, but an animal control expert said inside the car it was 98 degrees.
Using a baton, the officer broke the passenger window vehicle and was able to rescue the puppy. Responding officers got the dog water and immediately placed her in an air-conditioned patrol car.
When the officer retrieved the parking lot security footage, he determined the driver parked the car at 5:00 p.m. before entering the mall. However, when the owners of the dog, Somsanit Thammavong, 38, and Cala Raeann Franks, 25, returned, they said they had only been gone five minutes.
Thammavog and Franks were arrested and charged with animal cruelty. The puppy was taken to an emergency veterinarian and is currently being cared for at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter pending the outcome of this case.