When a meter maid in the Valencia town of Cullera approached a vehicle that appeared not to have a paid parking ticket on the windshield, she heard strange noises coming from the trunk.
Believing that it could be an animal, she immediately called the municipal police. Officers managed to force open the trunk after they failed to locate the owner of the vehicle.
If it had been 15 minutes later, the animal would have died”
In the back part of the trunk, beneath a bicycle and suffering temperatures of 46ºC, there was “Barbita” – a four-year-old mixed breed who apparently had been left abandoned.
She was completely dehydrated and near death after her owner – police believe – left her in there for hours without any water or access to fresh air.
The dog had no identification chip, and had vomited and defecated during her ordeal.
Nearby residents rushed to help, bringing the dog water, before she was taken to an animal clinic where Barbita was treated for dehydration. The veterinarians at the clinic saved the dog’s life.
“If it had been 15 minutes later, the animal would have died,” explained one of the police officers.
Barbita was taken to the local Esperança Animal shelter where she is being looked after.
Authorities have traced the owner of the car to Madrid and have identified him only by his initials, E.T.P. Police said he has a prior criminal record and will now be charged with cruelty to animals.
“The outstanding response by the police in this tragic incident had a happy ending,” said María José Terrades, city councilor for the municipal police force in Cullera.