BOSTON (CBS) — The owner of a dog that died in a hot car earlier this month didn’t show up for his arraignment in West Roxbury Municipal Court Tuesday, so a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Travis Gustafson, 31, faces felony animal cruelty charges after police say he left a male pit bull in his truck on Burroughs Street in Jamaica Plain on August 1, leading to the dog’s death.

The dog was spotted in the truck around 3 p.m. by members of a landscaping crew.

The pit bull was rushed to nearby MSPCA-Angell Animal Hospital, where its heart stopped beating within a minute of arrival.

angell center better shot Warrant Issued After Man In Jamaica Plain Dog Hot Car Death Fails To Appear In Court

Angell Animal Medical Center. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

Vets there said he had suffered a heat stroke. They said his temperature was 109.7 degrees, as high as the thermometer would go–so it may have been even higher.

Boston Animal Care and Control Director Amanda Kennedy said the dog was probably in the car for at least two and a half hours.

According to the MSPCA, the inside of a car can heat up to 100 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80 degree day – even with the windows slightly open.

Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill that protects pets left in hot cars–as well as those who break them out in order to rescue them.


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