Gwinnett County

Man faces deportation after leaving puppy in hot car, police say

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A man could be forced to leave the country after police say he left his puppy in a hot car.

The puppy was spotted Sunday night panting in the back seat of an SUV in Lawrenceville. A witness said the dog had been in the SUV for at least a half hour and was struggling.

“The external temperature outside was about 82 degrees. However when they put a thermometer inside the car, they determined the temperature inside the SUV was 94 to over 100 degrees,” said Cpl. Michele Pihera with the Gwinnett County Police Department.


Police broke open the window and saved the dog, and they didn’t have to look far for the owner.

Police told Channel 2's Tony Thomas that the dog's owner and his family ate dinner inside a restaurant in a strip mall along Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

Officers took the puppy to a place that had some air conditioning.

“After the officer broke out the window, that's when the man came out and saw what happened to his vehicle,” Pihera said.

Freddy Dorantes was arrested for animal cruelty.

Dorantes appeared in court for the first time Tuesday afternoon and was ordered to remain behind bars because U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a hold on him.

The puppy is not up for adoption at this time. The dog will be held at animal control until the court case is resolved, or if and when the family signs papers giving up ownership.

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