Gwinnett County police rescued a puppy from a hot car at the Mall of Georgia this week and charged the couple who owned the puppy with cruelty to animals. Marijuana also was allegedly discovered in the car and additional charges were levied for possession of marijuana.
According to a press release, a good samaritan called dispatch just after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, and said she heard a dog inside a vehicle, parked in front of J.C. Penney’s, panting and crying. When officers looked inside the window of the vehicle, a black BMW, had been rolled down about 2 – 3 inches and the puppy was seen hiding under the passenger seat, crying, panting and breathing heavily. The temperature inside the vehicle was at about 90 degrees. The police officer also allegedly noticed a smell of marijuana.
“The officer used his expandable baton and broke the passenger window of the vehicle. After the officer retrieved the puppy, the responding officers got the small dog some water and immediately placed her in an air-conditioned patrol car,” Cpl. Michele Pihera, public information officer for Gwinnett County Police Department, said in a press release. “After reviewing parking lot security footage, it was determined that the driver parked the car at 5 p.m. before entering the mall.”
When they eventually came out, the couple told police they had only been inside for a couple of minutes. An Animal Control Officer arrived and determined that the internal temperature of the car was 98 degrees. The puppy, named Coco, was taken to an emergency veterinarian. Marijuana also allegedly was found inside the car too.
The puppy is currently in the care of Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.
The occupants of the vehicle, Somsanit Thammavong (age 38, Demorest) and Cala Raeann Franks (age 25, Demorest), were both placed under arrest and charged with Cruelty to Animals and Possession of Marijuana.