Days after it took effect, a Rhode Island man is the first to be charged under the state’s new law making it a crime to leave an animal in a hot car.

Johnstown Police say David Rodriguez left a black poodle in his car in the parking lot of a BJ’s Wholesale Club for more than an hour Monday. When police got there, the temperature was 124 degrees inside the car.

The law signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee makes it a misdemeanor to leave an animal in a vehicle in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Rodriguez faces up to one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both if convicted.

The dog is being cared for by the Rhode Island SPCA and is expected to be OK.

In Mansfield, a man from Maine is facing animal cruelty charges after his dog was found in a hot car.

Police say Edwin Harrington, Jr. of Boothbay Harbor, Maine left the Boston terrier/Bulldog mix outside the Xfinity Center on Thursday with the windows rolled down about 3 inches. That allowed Police to open the door and let the dog out.

The Sun Chronicle reports the dog was unable to move its rear legs, and was suffering from heat stroke and shock. It’s being cared for at an animal hospital.

What do you think should be the punishment for leaving an animal in a hot or cold car? What would you do if you saw one? Leave your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.


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