[Hillsborough Sheriff\u2019s Office]
Mr. Snuggles, a 3-month-old lab and collie mix, was left inside a car outside the new Ikea.
Police arrested a Hillsborough County woman Wednesday on charges of animal cruelty after finding her dog locked in a car on a hot May afternoon.
When Amy Chantarak of 8649 Himes Ave N attended IKEA's grand opening, she went inside but left her 3-month-old lab and collie mix in the car. Shoppers spotted the puppy, named Mr. Snuggles, laying the backseat of a black Mazda with the windows cracked.
One shopper alerted a police officer. The officer was able to free Mr. Snuggles and move him into an air-conditioned police car. The dog was taken to the animal services shelter in Brandon.
County veterinarians checked out the dog and declared him healthy and unharmed.
The officer learned the dog was in the car for about 40 minutes, said Hillsborough County Animal Services spokeswoman Marti Ryan.
"It could've been more, who really knows?" Ryan said.
Temperatures in the car had likely reached well over 100 degrees, she said.
Chantarak, 19, was arrested about 2 p.m. and booked into the Orient Road Jail. She posted $1,013 bail shortly after midnight Thursday.
Police discovered she was wanted in Pinellas County for failing to appear in court on an animal cruelty charge from December 2007. In that case, she was accused of leaving her Chihuahua Mumu in the car overnight.
If she does not give up custody of Mr. Snuggles, Animal Services will petition for legal ownership, Ryan said.
"This person has a track record for the same type of scenario," Ryan said. "One would get the impression that she doesn't understand or give value to the animal."