After being in the car for 9 minutes on a 37 degree day with two windows half open. While I understand that looking out for the welfare of animals is important, I found this to be totally ridiculous. And the reason I'm so upset about it is because my dog is very old and his back legs are failing. He has to be lifted in and out of the truck. When I asked them how they got him out of the truck and into their SUV, and then back out of their SUV, they told me they don't lift animals. They used a dog pole and pulled him out. I don't even want to know how they dragged him into the back of their SUV, I'm hoping they had a ramp.
We put together the timeline because it blew our minds. We hopped out of the car to walk around the block to snap a few photos - we were in a really small tourist ghost town. It appears that minutes after we walked away from our car, someone called or flagged down the officers and told them the dog had been in the car for over an hour.
Of course they issued us a citation. After we told them that we were only away from the truck for about 15 to 20 minutes and we could prove it (gas station reciept from another town 20 miles away), the officer said well "that doesn't matter -- when I investigated the dog was in obvious distress. I have photos." Um, yes officer, he is an amazing watch dog. You were peering in at him, trying to find a way into the vehicle, and taking photos. I don't doubt for a second that he was insanely barking at you. This is a dog who foiled a burglarly at our house thanks to his insanely loud bark.
And the whole reason the dog was with us in the truck was because we didn't want to leave him in the yard in the cold weather. He has lost a lot of weight (his days are numbered) and we are not used to this weather which has been freezing well into the morning. I still can't believe it happened and I feel so sad that my dog went through this. The car had some late afternoon winter sun shining on it and was half shaded. It never occured to me for a single second that this would happen.
ETA: And they told us to consider ourselves lucky that they were able to get into the truck because otherwise we would also be dealing with a broken window.