It happened around 4:30 p.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot near Ashley Furniture in Redding. Officer Travis McIvor said the incident was the most intense rescue he's been through but was only thinking of the dogs' safety.
Officer McIvor said when he responded to the call he checked both Wal-Mart and Ashley Furniture for the owners of the German Shepard mix and a young Husky.
He noticed the dogs were already showing signs of distress and the internal temperature of the van was reading 115 degrees.
"You really feel for the animals, you want to protect the animals they can't protect themselves.You know if I have to kind of risk getting a few bruises every once in a while just to make sure an animal survives then I'll do it," said McIvor.
McIvor said one of the windows of the van was already broken and covered up by a piece of cardboard. He removed the cardboard and crawled through the window to unlock the car and get to the animals. That's when McIvor said the owners showed up.
"I was in the process of putting the second dog into my car and in the kennel when one of the guys attempted to kind of jump me inside the van and remove the K-9 out of my arms," said McIvor.
A short struggle began but McIvor said he could only think of the dogs' safety. "I actually stopped the fight at that point because there was no point in severely injuring anybody or the dogs for that matter," he said.
Redding Police was called and arrested the owner, 30-year-old Ezequiel Coronel for the battery of a peace officer and the dogs were taken to Haven Humane Society.
Captian Lee Anne Smith with Animal Regulation said the ordeal is the perfect reason why the public should never intervene when a dog is locked in a hot car and should instead call 9-1-1.
"It can escalate to the point where there is physical involvement or something going on and the animal could be injured or people can be injured. You need to let the appropriate agency deal with it," said Smith.
McIvor mentioned he's dealt with upset dog owners before they were only verbal and never had a physical confrontation until now. But adds he understands why things can get heated quickly.
He said, "Really what it is, the owner's are attached to their animals. They get upset they think we're going to take them but that's really not our goal. Our main goal is to just make sure the animal is safe."
Both dogs will remain with Haven Humane for the mean time. Smith has talked to a relative of the owner but said will not release the animals until they are certain this will never happen again.
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(KRCRTV - June 26, 2017)