On July 4th, an Albuquerque man and his family leaving a Walmart saw two dogs sitting inside a car with just one window barely cracked.
“They looked real hot. They looked like they were panicking and panting a little bit and barking outrageous,” said Francisco Cordova.
Cordova says his step-daughter is the one who spotted the two small dogs in distress.
“They were barking with the window barely cracked and all the rest of the windows were closed,” said Cordova.
Cordova says they went back into the Walmart at Ladera and Unser and asked management to page the owners of the car.
“[There was] no response. We called APD,” said Cordova.
While waiting for APD, Cordova and his family stood near the car to monitor the dog’s conditions. Then, about a half hour later, the owners came back to the car.
“Mind your own god d*** business. I’ve never done it before,” shouted the dog’s owner in a cell phone video Cordova recorded.
Pet owner: “If you’re filming us that’s illegal.”
Cordova: “I am filming you. No, it’s not illegal. What you did was illegal.”
Cordova is correct. Leaving a dog or child in a hot car for any amount of time is illegal.
Pet owner: “Those dogs are fine. Those dogs are cared for.”
Cordova: “We’ve been out here for over 20 minutes with no car started.”
The owner accuses Cordova and his family of harassing her.
They say they were simply trying to make sure the dogs were okay.
“We wanted to save the dogs. Dogs are voiceless. We gotta take care of our dogs,” said Cordova.
APD arrived on scene shortly after the owners took off. It is not clear if the owners were ever cited.
APD says they could be charged with misdemeanor animal abuse.
In New Mexico, it is legal to break a window to save a child or dog in distress.