By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News
A 26-year-old Providence woman faces a misdemeanor charge after leaving her Maltese inside a hot car during Monday’s heatwave.
Cranston Police were called to a shopping plaza on Garfield Avenue at 6:42 p.m. Monday after several shoppers noticed the small white dog was locked in the car. Witnesses told police the front windows of the car were cracked less than a half inch and the dog had been inside the car in sweltering heat for at least 40 minutes. The shoppers told police they had tried to find the owner, but when they couldn’t, they called the authorities.
When police arrived, they attempted to locate the owner as well and made announcements inside each of the stores in the plaza. When the owner didn’t respond, police broke the window of the car so they could rescue the dog, which they say was having trouble breathing.
Police say the owner, 26-year-old Laura Mosquea Figuereo, of Providence, returned to her car about 15 minutes after the dog was rescued. She told police she had been shopping and didn’t hear the announcements.
Police arrested Figuereo for violating a new law passed by the General Assembly in 2014 that prohibits people from leaving animals in extremely hot or cold cars. Figuereo was charged with one count of Animal Confinement in a Motor Vehicle Prohibited.
The dog — which is expected to make a full recovery — was brought to the Cranston Animal Shelter and will be held there until Figuereo can pay the costs of the dog’s care and medical treatments.