FREETOWN  -- A 37-year-old Easthampton man has been charged with animal cruelty after Freetown police say he left a dog inside a locked vehicle where the temperature became unbearable.

Seth R. Taylor of Easthampton was charged with one felony count of animal cruelty.

At approximately 1:40 p.m. Friday, Freetown Police received a report that a dog was locked in a parked car at a construction area on Chace Road. The reporting party stated that the dog was in distress.

Responding officers discovered that the dog had been left unattended inside a locked vehicle. The vehicle was not parked in the shade. There was no ventilation as all of the windows were closed. Officers also noted that there was no water inside the vehicle.

Police confirmed that the dog was in distress, panting rapidly, foaming at the mouth, and barely conscious. To gain immediate access to the dog and remove it from the car, police found it necessary break open a car window. They found that the dog was unable to stand.

Police then provided the dog water to drink and applied water and ice in an effort to reduce the dog’s core temperature. Police requested the assistance of the animal control officer, who transported the dog to a local animal hospital where it was found to be in serious condition. Police determined that the dog had been left unattended for approximately four hours.

Taylor is to be summoned to court.

Parked cars quickly trap the sun’s heat. Even on a day when it is 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car with all the windows closed can hit 89 degrees in just 10 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Ona hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 114 degrees in a short amount of time. Leaving the windows open a crack doesn’t eliminate the danger of heatstroke or death.

-- Freetown Police