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Puppies removed from locked car at Eastview

Victor, N.Y. -- Shoppers and workers at Eastview Mall called 911 Monday afternoon after seeing three Labrador puppies, in a crate, locked in a car in the parking lot for hours.

Chief Bill McGuigan of the Ontario County Humane Society said when he arrived on the scene, the temperature inside the car was 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. He said the puppies temperatures were in the 105-degree range, which he said is life threatening.

He made the determination to have police break into the car and get the puppies out.

"Had we not removed those puppies, they were in enough distress, I believe it wouldn't have been much longer," he said.

McGuigan said he left a note on the car telling the owner the puppies had been seized. He said Nathan Stephens, 47, waited another hour and a half before contacting security to check on the puppies.

He said Stephens was inside the mall for at least two hours getting his phone fixed.

The temperatures outside Monday were fairly warm, in the low 70s. He said the puppies were in a dangerous situation and were near death when they were found.

Stephens was charged with animal cruelty for leaving the puppies in the car in extreme temperatures for an extended amount of time. At first, police said he told them the puppies were his, and then police learned he was taking them somewhere to be sold.

The puppies are lively and active now, but were lethargic and glassy eyed when they were taken out of the hot car, investigators said. They were given food and water and allowed to cool off in the shade.

The pups are in the custody of the Ontario County Humane Society and will soon be made available for adoption. Anyone interested can put their name on a list. The number is 

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Washington Times