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Nurse practitioner arrested after leaving her dog in hot car at hospital

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A Florida nurse practitioner was taken into custody today after a Sheriff's Deputy and an officer from Animal Control broke the windows and rescued a dog from a car where the temperature was 120 degrees, according to a report published today on the HernandoToday.com website.

An article posted about the incident on MyFoxTampaBay.com reports that someone called 911 and reported that the dog had been in the car at Oak Hill Hospital for over an hour in the Florida heat. The caller was concerned because the dog was foaming at the mouth and panting heavily.

The dog was not doing well when it was pulled out of the car, and how much longer it would have lasted in the heat is not known. However, the dog was incapacitated to the point where it was unable to stand. Officers immediately began to try and cool the dog, offering it water and putting ice on its paws.

The dog was taken to a local vet's office and it is reported to be recovering.

An inmate search of the Hernando County Detention Center shows an inmate named Hurline Saint Fleur as being booked this afternoon at 14:10 with the following offense: 828.12.1 - CONSERVATION-ANIMALS [1ct(s)].

With the warm weather here, it is important that everyone understand that it is not safe to leave a pet or child in a car unattended, even with the windows cracked. As happened today, the temperature can quickly exceed 120 degrees, and that can and often is fatal to a pet or a small child.

If you seen an animal (or a child) locked in a car in the heat, please call 911 immediately and remain with the vehicle until help arrives. It can and is a matter of life and death. It's also a good idea to have someone else go into the store and report to a manager that a child or pet is in the car, along with a description of the car and the license plate number. They can make a public address announcement in the store informing their customer that their pet or child is in danger of overheating in the vehicle.

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