By Cheryl Hanna
South Florida is never the place to leave a dog unattended in a parked car. On Thursday two special West Palm Beach bicycle patrol police officers spotted a dog “panting and breathing heavily” in a parked car at the Brandsmart parking lot on Executive Center Drive.
The inside of a car is inherently dangerous to pets. On a mildly sunny day, the interior of a car can easily heat up to more than 120 degrees. Even leaving the windows slightly open or providing a water bowl will not make a difference once the interior of the car heats up to those unbearable temperatures. Heat stroke is a deadly disease, and even with medical intervention a severely overheated dog can die.
The driver’s side window and passenger window were open a few inches, and as the officers approached they smelled the “strong odor of marijuana.”
According to the Palm Beach Post, Raymond Hendry Zerba, the owner of the vehicle approached the police and told them he should not have left his dog in the hot car. When asked about the smell of marijuana and the smoking pipe in full view in the ashtray, Zerba allegedly told police he was a heavy pot smoker.
More than 400 grams of marijuana packed in sandwich bags were recovered in Zerba’s car.
Zerba, 40 has been charged with animal cruelty, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He is currently in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $3,000 bond.
Read more: Examiner