Schenectady man charged with leaving dog in hot car

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany police said a German Shepard puppy might not have survived being left in a hot vehicle if it weren’t for the actions of diners and a police officer.

Police said the puppy was found around noon on Sunday inside a parked vehicle outside of the Italian American Community Center on Washington Avenue Extension.

“I thought the dog was deceased,” Albany Officer Gregory McGee said.

A diner heading in for brunch somehow spotted the small puppy on the floor of a vehicle in the parking lot.

“Door was unlocked; the dog didn’t even lift its head or make any movements,” McGee said.

According to court documents, the puppy was without proper food or water. The windows of the car were cracked less than two inches. The temperature outside was around 82 degrees, but police said the temperature in the car was around 117 degrees.

“Once I got him out of the car, he was unsteady on his feet,” McGee described. “His tongue was hanging out of his mouth. He had a rapid heartbeat. I used my water in my car. Started hand giving him water, and he immediately jumped in the back of my patrol car. I turned the air conditioner on for him. He stayed there and cooled off.”

McGee said the puppy was covered in its own urine and trying to find some relief from the sun by hiding on the floor of the vehicle.

The dog’s owner was identified as Brandon Reploeg, a dining room customer. The Schenectady man was arraigned Monday morning and charged with one count of Animal Cruelty.

“We had originally got the call at 12:17 p.m.; I arrived at 12:29,” McGee said. “According to the staff at the restaurant, they said the owner of the dog was sat at 11:50, so at that point, the dog had been in the car for 39 minutes.”

NEWS10 ABC went to his home to get his take on the allegations. His mother answered the door, and she claimed he was never read his Miranda Rights. She said there was no abuse, and her son was only inside the buffet for 30 minutes.

The dog was taken to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society for heat exhaustion treatment and is said to be doing better.

Officer McGee said he hasn’t been allowed to see the puppy, yet, because the animal is considered evidence in the case. But McGee already feels bonded to the little guy.

“I have already let it be known that if the dog becomes available, I would like to adopt him,” he said.

The dog remains under the car of the shelter.

Reploeg’s attorney said his client pleaded not guilty to the charge and the facts are in dispute.

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