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Santa Clarita: No charges against dog owner who left Chihuahua in parked car for 6 hours

Posted: June 6, 2013 7:24 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2013 7:24 p.m.

A sheriff's deputy cradles a dog in his arms after the animal was locked in a car in the Magin Mountain parking lot for six hours. Courtesy photo by Louis Gallardo

The owner of a dog that was left in a locked car parked in the Six Flags Magic Mountain Parking lot will not be charged, officials said.

A sheriff’s deputy used a special device Wednesday to rescue the thirsty Chihuahua from inside the black Volkswagen Passat where it had been for six hours. It was taken to the Animal Shelter in Castaic.

According to Sgt. Debra Miller of the sheriff’s substation at the park, charges are only filed if an animal dies inside a vehicle.

Every month on average, local sheriff’s deputies rescue a dog from a locked car parked at the park, Miller said.

“Sometimes, they (owners) leave a window open a crack,” she said. “But sometimes temperatures reach 107F.”

Miller said her fellow deputies assigned to Magic Mountain have not had to break a window to rescue a dog but would not hesitate to do that if needed.

Deputies have no report of any dog having died at the park after it was left in a locked vehicle, she said.

The sad thing, Miller said, is that motorists with dogs drive by a free specially-built kennel erected at the park which enables them to leave their dog in a manned and protected environment.

“I assume they don’t know about the dog kennel,” she said.

The kennel is situated between the parking ticket booths and the parking lot itself.

“We offer our guests free boarding in the on-site air-conditioned kennel,” Magic Mountain spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said Thursday.

“Guests are cautioned to never leave pets in their cars while visiting the park,” she said. “The LA County Sheriff’s Department will take appropriate action if any pet is left unattended in a vehicle.”

Most times, deputies warn dog owners not to leave their pet in a locked vehicle, Miller said.
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