Dog Dies Minutes After Rescue From Hot Vehicle in Belmont

The dog's owner was found sleeping in a nearby motel and was arrested on animal cruelty charges, according to police.

Joseph Regis Jr. / Booking Photo Courtesy: Belmont Police Department.
Joseph Regis Jr. / Booking Photo Courtesy: Belmont Police Department.
A homeless man from the Belmont area was locked up in the county jail Monday, suspected of animal cruelty.

According to Belmont Police Captain Patrick Halleran, the agency got a call regarding an animal in distress around 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a motel in the 1100 block of Shoreway Rd. 

"Upon arrival, officers found an unresponsive 8 year-old German Shepherd named 'Elisha' in distress, inside the cab of a black 2011 Toyota pick-up truck," Halleran said in a news release.  "The dog had been left in the truck with the windows rolled up and without water."

Police called out San Mateo County Animal Rescue & Control, who helped get the dog out of the truck to seek medical treatment. 

"In spite of their efforts, Elisha died en route to an veterinary emergency clinic," Halleran said.

Elisha's owner, identified as 50-year-old Joseph Regis Jr., was found sleeping in the motel, and told officers he had last checked on the pooch at 3 a.m. "...and he was fine."  The man was arrested and taken to jail on suspicion of felony animal cruelty, Halleran said.

With the news of the dog's death, the police captain shared an important reminder:

"The Belmont Police and the Peninsula Humane Society would like to stress to the public that when it's 80 degrees outside, a car can heat up to over 120 degrees in just minutes," he said.  "As happened today, in a temperature that high, a dog could easily die.  As we enter the summer months, dog owners are reminded that they should never leave their dog alone in a car during warm weather."

Carmen Mahood June 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM
This man and this dog used to live pn our street here in Belmont. Elijah was a wonderful, happy, friendly, beautiful dog. He was gentle with our little dogs and had the heart of a true German Shepherd - loyal and playful. We are so sad to read that this happened to him. Elijah, we love you and we will miss your strong and gentle spirit in this world. Carmen Mahood
Courtney Carreras June 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM
So tragic. I wish more places were dog-friendly so they could actually accompany people in hotels etc. We just went to the foothills for the weekend and were able to bring our dog since these more rural areas are much more dog-friendly than the Bay Area.
rushro June 10, 2014 at 01:55 PM
"Police called out San Mateo County Animal Rescue & Control, who helped get the dog out of the truck" Say what? The Belmont police are not capable of doing immediately what obviously needs to be done which meant the dog had to suffer even longer? The dog should have been quickly delivered to a vet in the back seat of the police car.
Lynne B. C. June 10, 2014 at 08:03 PM
I wish we could hear from the cops if they did or did not attempt to remove the dog themselves. I doubt the journalist was there to witness this herself and is going on whatever was on the scanner or made public, is that correct? So maybe they did remove the dog but thought AC would know what to do or....whatever. Break the flippin' window.
Donna June 11, 2014 at 04:12 AM
Make it mandatory for all motel n hotel desk clerks to ask if any animals r in their vehicles. Perhaps a stupid or a uninformed owner may be reminded to either make an arrangement w/the motel for a pet or keep the windows open w/ water available. But really, this owner is one dumb shit who should never own a pet again. Amen.


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