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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Friday afternoon, WBTV rode along with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control to check up on animals in the heat.
Animal Control Officer Robert Campos responded to one call after another, including one in North Charlotte involving a pit bull left outside. A neighbor called Animal Control to report the dog could be in danger from the excessive heat.
"We've got a brown and white pit bull tied to a tree in the back yard for three days," said Campos. "States no one has been home. There's no food or water present. No dog house."
Upon arriving at the home, Campos determined the neighbor was right. He said the dog had been left outside for three days while the owner was on vacation.
"He said he had a friend that was supposed to be coming and taking care of the dog. Unbeknownst to him, his friend was on vacation," said Campos.
That explanation wasn't good enough for Animal Control. The owner received a $300 fine and some orders from Campos regarding the dog, Abbott.
"Abbott's got to have some kind of a dog house. Shade. Something. Constant water," Campos told the dog owner.
A few minutes later, another call came in. Campos headed to the IKEA parking lot and found two dogs in a hot truck. One was left inside the cab with the windows cracked. The other was outside in the truck bed with no shade, locked in a metal cage.
The owner appeared shortly after the Animal Control van arrived and claimed he had been checking on the dogs frequently. He said he was en route to Charleston where his family was relocating. Campos had him put both dogs in the cab of the truck and turn the air conditioning on, but let him go without a ticket.
Campos said his main goal isn't to hand out fines; it's to educate pet owners and make sure animals are safe.
"It's a really good feeling. Makes you want to come back and do it again the next day."