OPELIKA, Ala. — Five puppies are recovering and unfortunately one is dead after Lee County deputies found them locked in a hot car Thursday afternoon.
The temperature was 80 degrees and sweltering around lunchtime when visitors at the Lee County Justice Center on Frederick Road reported to court security hearing whining coming out of a parked car.
Two local deputies — Shannon Holland and Autumn Smith — say they went out to investigate and found the young pups panting in the heat. They tell News 3 they called the Opelika Police Department while Deputy Holland squeezed her arm through a crack in the car window to unlock the door.
“They were panting and crying, trying to get out out and scared, there was one that wasn’t moving around,” Holland tells a WRBL reporter.
The two women gave the dogs water to try and cool them down. Sadly, it was too late for the runt of the litter.
“I got her out, got her some water and thought she would be okay, but the officer came by later and said she didn’t make it,” Holland says.
Investigators say there’s no telling how long the puppies were left in the stifling vehicle without water.
“It’s just like a child, you can’t breathe,” says Deputy Smith. “No living thing should be locked in a car without water.”
The animal cruelty case is now under investigation by Opelika police. The puppies are not up for adoption at this time, but a local organization has volunteered to take care of them.
The puppies’ location is being withheld for their protection while police investigate the car’s owner. Officers confirm they know the identity of their suspect, but an arrest has not been made at this time.