The man parked the car at the Safeway on Camino Tassajara at 7 p.m., leaving the 12-year-old Maltese, named Fluffy, inside, police said. The air conditioner was not on.
A Danville woman in the parking lot saw the car and heard the dog barking. She called 911 and waited. About 10 to 15 minutes later the owner came out, police said. The dog was not harmed.
The high temperature that day was 107 degrees. By 7 p.m. it was most likely in the mid-90s to 100 degrees, estimated Danville Police Sgt. Kevin Daley.
The temperature inside a car can easily get around 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.
"So if you leave a dog in a car when it's 90 degrees, it's gonna be darn hot in there," Daley said, noting that the Safeway parking lot doesn't get a lot of shade.
In hot summer weather pets can run the risk of suffering from heatstroke. Even if a car is parked in the shade with the windows rolled down, temperatures can get dangerously high inside the vehicle. (See Pet Vet, page 20.)
The man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and cited to appear in court. Fluffy was released back to its owner with permission from Animal Control.