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Warrant Issued After Man In Jamaica Plain Dog Hot Car Death Fails To Appear In Court

BOSTON (CBS) -- The owner of a dog that died in a hot car earlier this month didn't show up for his arraignment in West Roxbury Municipal Court Tuesday, so a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Travis Gustafson, 31, faces felony animal cruelty charges after police say he left a male pit bull in his truck on Burroughs Street in Jamaica Plain on August 1, leading to the dog's death.

The dog was spotted in the truck around 3 p.m. by members of a landscaping crew.

The pit bull was rushed to nearby MSPCA-Angell Animal Hospital, where its heart stopped beating within a minute of arrival.

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Angell Animal Medical Center. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

Vets there said he had suffered a heat stroke. They said his temperature was 109.7 degrees, as high as the thermometer would go--so it may have been even higher.

Boston Animal Care and Control Director Amanda Kennedy said the dog was probably in the car for at least two and a half hours.

According to the MSPCA, the inside of a car can heat up to 100 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80 degree day – even with the windows slightly open.

Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill that protects pets left in hot cars–as well as those who break them out in order to rescue them.

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