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Dog left on balcony where surface temps reached 131 degrees dies; owner arrested

The Sedro-Woolley Police Department said it received a report from concerned neighbors of a dog left on a balcony without shade or water on Tuesday.
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A thermometer on a sunny day.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. — A Sedro-Woolley woman was arrested after she allegedly left her family's dog out outside during dangerous high temperatures Tuesday, resulting in the dog's death.

The Sedro-Woolley Police Department (SWPD) said it received a report of a dog left on a balcony without shade or water.

A code enforcement officer with SWPD responded to the residence and spoke with concerned neighbors.

The animal control officer found the 5-year-old dog named Enzo in "severe distress," displaying symptoms including seizing and foaming at the mouth. The officer took life-saving measures, moving the dog inside and trying to cool him down, but Enzo died. 

His body was taken to an emergency medical facility for evaluation where its internal temperature was at least 107 degrees -- the maximum temperature the vet's thermometer could detect, according to court documents.

The dog's water bowl was empty and there were signs Enzo had pawed at the sliding door. In addition, multiple neighbors and nearby workers reportedly hearing a dog in distress. 

Temperatures in Sedro-Wolley reached nearly 90 degrees on Tuesday and officers measured one surface of the balcony at 131 degrees with an infrared heat camera, according to court documents.

The woman told police she had been preparing for her son's birthday and did not check the water bowl or consider the temperature on the deck, though she told police she was aware of the forecast for the day, court documents said.

The dog was treated for hyperthermia one other time, the woman's spouse told police, and survived. 

The woman was charged with animal cruelty in the first degree and released on her own recognizance.

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The Excessive Heat Warning in place for much of the greater Seattle area was extended through Saturday with above-average temperatures expected to last longer than originally expected.

The Excessive Heat Advisory, in effect for much of the surrounding areas, including Sedro-Woolley, was also extended. They were originally set to expire Friday night.

A dog can overheat, and suffer from dehydration or heatstroke just like a human can. 

According to the U.K.-based The Kennel Club, which is one of the largest dog welfare organizations in the world, 1 in 7 dogs taken to the vet for heat stroke dies, but 98% of those treated early survive. 

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Heavy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Confusion or loss of coordination
  • Drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Shaking or weakness
  • Seizures

RELATED: 4 things to know about dogs in hot weather

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