Animal activists rescued two dozen cats from a vehicle that reached an internal temperature of 118 degrees, while the owner stayed as a guest at a California hotel.
The Inland Valley Humane Society & S.P.C.A. (IVHS) received a tip from the Ontario Police Department on April 26 after an employee at the Quality Inn Ontario Airport Convention Center observed several animals inside a Honda Civic parked outside of the hotel, an IVHS press release read. Humane officers who responded to the scene initially counted "at least 8 cats inside the vehicle."
Those at the scene also described "a potent smell escaping from the car," which had one window opened about three centimeters for air circulation. It was later determined that the vehicle's interior was "excrement infested," according to the IVHS Facebook page.
The team of responders were able to open the vehicle's passenger door. Ultimately, 24 cats were counted from inside the trunk and main seating areas of the car.
"Temperature readings identified that the inside of the vehicle was 118 degrees and climbing," the news release said. Their investigation also found "only urine-saturated food available ... with no signs of drinking water."
The vehicle's owner was later confirmed to be a guest at the Ontario hotel where the car and cats were left. The individual surrendered the animals, who were left in the car for several days, IVHS's social media manager Mansha Kaur told the Daily Bulletin. The unidentified individual was also issued a citation for 24 counts of crimes against animals and leaving an animal in a vehicle, according to the IVHS report.
The cats were examined by veterinary staff and are in recovery with the IVHS. As of Monday, the rescues — most not older than age 4 or 5 — are available for fostering and adoption, according to Kaur.
"We treat the animals and give them all the medications they need, but there is nothing better for them than the love they would receive in a new home," she told the Daily Bulletin.
Another Facebook post from the group reminded followers to avoid leaving animals unattended in vehicles during heat waves.
"Please DO NOT leave animals alone in a vehicle. It is illegal and they can experience severe trauma and irreparable damage when temperatures reach certain levels (85° outside is 119° in a vehicle). Please keep the pets of our community safe and report any animals under dangerous conditions," the post read.
The group also advocated for donations to help care for the cats. As of Friday morning, $460 was raised on Facebook.
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