A teenage driver was cited for suspicion of animal cruelty after her 1-year-old dog, left in a closed car while she went to a mall for three hours, died from apparent heat exposure, authorities say.

It happened in the Ontario Mills Mall parking lot in Ontario Monday evening when security guard noticed the car was fogged up, according to ABC7.

They apparently called the cops, who showed up at 7 p.m. just as …

… suspect Chang Qui, 19, returned to her black BMW after three hours at the mall: The dog, authorities say, was found laying in the back seat.

The woman was cited and the golden retriever was taken to a veterinarian hospital where, ABC7 says, the pooch had to be put down.

The moral of the story? Well, this teen, if this is true, is an (alleged) idiot. But more than that, don't even try this for a minute.

John Welsh of Riverside County Animal Services:

It's against the law to leave your pet inside the vehicle, doesn't matter if you're just popping in to a 7-Eleven to grab yourself a Slurpee.

Added: Ontario police spokesman Anthony Ortiz confirmed that the suspect was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor animal cruelty and immediately released.

He said it wasn't clear if the woman was shopping, visiting or working at the mall.


LA Weekly