HOUSTON – The disturbing images are tough to look at.
A puppy was found, left in a hot car, according to investigators, for nearly an hour.
Joshua Teamer is a neighbor who lives in the same apartment complex where the puppy was rescued.
"They don’t need to own animals if they’re not going to treat it just like another person because animals are people, too," he said.
Deputies and investigators with the Houston SPCA responded to the scene at an apartment complex on the city's northside Friday afternoon.
They were forced to break the car's window.
The temperature inside the vehicle at the time was around 125 degrees.
"We respond immediately and get to the scene as fast as we can because we know that we’re running against the clock when it gets down to animals trapped in a car," said Julie Kuenstle, the vice president of communications with the Houston SPCA.
Making matters worse, investigators said the puppy was still on a leash and stuck in a dangerous, if not potentially deadly, situation.
"The animal was actually trapped on the back floorboard and was struggling, as you can imagine ... it in that 125-degree heat," Kuenstle said.
The puppy was taken to the Houston SPCA to be held for observation and treated.
Deputies said the investigation is ongoing and charges could be filed against the dog's owner.
The message to pet owners: Be extra careful in the sweltering Houston heat.
"If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog or any animal or child to be left behind," Kuenstle said.