Rutherford PAWS investigates rising number of animals left in hot cars this week


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — With some fresh air in his system, Simba, a Jack Russell Terrier is doing much better now. 

“I’m honestly, personally glad that he’s alive,” said Lindsay Frierson, public relations and media specialist for PAWS Rutherford County. 

Last week, he was found trapped in a hot car in 90-degree heat. 

According to a police report, Simba had been inside for at least 20 minutes. 

The owner only left a small crack in the window, according to the report.

“They didn’t have anywhere to put the dog at the time,” Frierson said. 

A friend of the dog’s owner took the dog home, but it happened again, according to Frierson.

“One incident still shouldn’t happen but two incidents, that’s very mind-blowing,” she said. 

Five days later, Simba was rescued again from another hot car. Frierson says the windows were closed.  That was May 26th. 

Frierson says the heat took a toll on him. 

“Panting, hiding from us, very nervous,” she said. 

Rutherford County PAWS has gotten 28 calls of animal neglect since Monday, according to Frierson.
She says most of the calls were heat-related. 

“There’s a dog in the car,” she said. “Doesn’t seem like the dog is getting air.” 

Simba’s owner was cited for animal cruelty, according to a police report with Murfreesboro Police Department.

The dog is up for adoption and slowly getting over the trauma of the past two weeks. 

“Still very timid, still a little stiff when you approach him,” Frierson said. 

Frierson says with summer approaching fast, animal owners need to keep one thing in mind. 
“They have to get their air,” she said. 

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