HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Social media is being credited for saving the life of a dog locked inside a hot vehicle for hours Friday.
"I looked over and saw that there was a huge yellow Lab," Xochitl Dalton said of the dog inside an SUV that was parked next to hers. "It looked like it was really, really hot."
Harris County sheriff's deputies said the silver SUV with Wisconsin license plates was in the parking lot of Splash Town during the hottest part of the day.
Upset at the sight of the trapped dog, Dalton said, "I posted a picture of the dog to several Facebook groups. I was amazed at how many people were wanting to rescue this dog."
She also called police, but within minutes of her Facebook post, about a dozen strangers from all over town rushed over to help.
"I immediately dropped everything, got in my car and drove from Magnolia up here, ready to bust the windshield out," said Melissa Camp, who saw the post on Facebook.
Two other women proudly showed the bricks and hammers they planned to use to smash the vehicle's windows.
All the attention prompted a park employee to squeeze his hand through a small opening in the window, unlock the door and save the panting Labrador.
Deputies said the dog was on the verge of passing out after being locked inside for hours. Temperatures in Harris County exceeded 90 degrees Friday afternoon, but investigators said the temperature inside the vehicle was a potentially deadly 140 degrees.
"You can't do that," Rhonda Blaschke said. "The (dog owner) is in there enjoying themselves in the water while their dog is out here miserable. It's too hot."
When the park closed Friday evening, authorities were finally able to locate the dog's owner and arrest him.
Deputies didn't identify him but said he'll be booked into the Harris County Jail on animal cruelty charges.
The dog underwent a health evaluation and is currently in the custody of the Harris County Constable Pct. 1 Office.
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