South San Francisco

Dog Walker Arrested After Police Rescue Pets From Vehicle in South San Francisco

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The South San Francisco Police Department said they helped rescue several dogs in distress after responding to a report of a dog locked in a van on a warm day this week.

It all started when a report came in about a dog in distress locked in a parked van. Security video from the area showed police responding and rescuing the dog. But while officers were there, they said a truck in the next space collided with a parked car, catching their attention

“Initial reports the driver refused to get out of the vehicle. He was taken out of the vehicle by South City officers. They determined later that he was almost five times the legal limit,” said Sgt. Elena Dominguez-Brennan of SSFPD.

Police said the 32-year-old driver from Daly City is a self-employed dog walker, who was under the influence and when they took a closer look at the truck’s closed camper shell, they made another troubling discovery.

"While investigating that incident, they discovered eight dogs in a camper shell attached to the back of his truck, one of the dogs was in severe distress," Brennan said. “The elements were way too dangerous for any animal to be in a vehicle without proper circulation or ventilation."

South San Francisco police said it was over 107 degrees inside the truck. Responders on scene got the windows open and a business’s gave the dogs water, until the Peninsula Humane Society responded and took the dogs in.

Dr. Linda Janowitz, veterinary chief of staff for the Peninsula Humane Society said in a tense situation like this, everyone pitches in.

“The dogs came in as emergencies and so, we had actually three of our vets working on the dogs when they came in, rehydrating them, giving them fluids. That sort of thing. Calling the owners,” Janowitz said.

She said the for the dogs in the truck it was helpful that they were microchipped or had collars with ID tags.

“As far as I know, they are all back with their people, Most of the dogs by the time that they got here ,were doing pretty well and I think, I can attribute that to the people on scene, who were giving them water, wetting them down, getting them in the shade. That makes a huge difference,” Janowitz said.

Police said that dog walker is facing DUI, resisting arrest and animal cruelty charges.

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