Dog, Six Days in Car Near Shopping Center Parking Lot

A dog was left for six days in an abandoned car in a West Seattle parking lot. Zipper, a tiny puggle (pug-beagle mix), looked lean and jumpy when security guards found him.

“The dog appeared frightened and was shaken and appeared to be in distress,” said Detective Renee Witt of the Seattle Police Department.

The car had been in the shopping center parking lot for at least six days, one of the guards told police. But it’s unclear how long Zipper was stuck there.

The guards fed Zipper, then officers gave him to Seattle Animal Shelter workers, who said the tiny puggle could have easily died from heatstroke in the vehicle.

“Even on a relatively cool day it can get deadly in there for them,” said Don Baxter, manager of the shelter’s animal care and volunteer programs.

Zipper was left in the care of the vacationing owner’s boyfriend — neither have been charged.

“We’re going to have a conversation with this individual,” said Baxter, “try to educate them about the proper care for the dog and let them know that it’s not acceptable to leave a dog inside a car on a warm day like today.”

Police are still trying to determine how long Zipper was actually stranded in the car without food or drink. The length could determine whether the man entrusted to care for Zipper is liable to criminal charges.

“That’s a big concern for us,” Witt said, “and that would actually be animal neglect.”

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