Puppy returned to owner after being left in hot car for 3 hours while owner shopped

Police rescued a puppy they say was locked in a hot car for nearly three hours in 29 C weather in Vaughan after calls from concerned individuals.

Officers with York Regional Police say the pup was lethargic, panting heavily and had no water when they arrived at the Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot on Wednesday.

In a release, police stated, "The officer was able to open the car door using a baton through a small opening in the vehicle's sunroof."

The puppy was immediately placed in the back of an air-conditioned cruiser and given water, police said.

Officers charged the owner, a 20-year-old Toronto woman, with causing an animal to be in distress under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.

Police say the dog is doing well and is back in its owner's care.

"Unfortunately, because the dog was okay, the dog had to be returned to the owner. But we are obviously hopeful that the owner will learn from this situation and make better choices in the future."

Police remind the public never to leave a pet in an unattended vehicle.

"The interior of a vehicle can heat up quickly, reaching temperatures far exceeding the outside air," York Regional Police said in a release.