The Southern Pines Police Department was dispatched at 12:00 noon on Friday, July 7, 2017, after someone observed a dog locked in a parked vehicle with the engine off, and the windows were only open one to two inches. This vehicle was parked in Pinecrest Plaza located on 15/501. The outside temperature at the time of this incident was 92 degrees. Southern Pines Police Officer, Wesley Page, recognized immediately that this dog was in grave danger, and he was showing obvious signs of distress. Officer Page forced entry to the vehicle to remove the dog, according to Southern Pines Police Chief Bob Temme. After the officer got the dog from the locked vehicle, the employees of Pier One Imports provided a cool environment and water in order to aid the dog in recovery.
Chief Temme stated that the North Carolina General Statute 14-363.3 contains the following language, “In order to protect the health and safety of an animal, any…law enforcement officer…who has probable cause to believe that an animal is confined in a motor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or under other endangering conditions, may enter the motor vehicle by any reasonable means.”
The owner of this dog was eventually located and was subsequently charged for this offense.
“As the Chief of Police, I have, and will continue to support the Officers of the Southern Pines Police Department in taking all measures necessary to forcibly enter a vehicle in which an animal is known to be in danger”, said Chief Temme.