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Florida Couple Facing Animal Cruelty Charges For Leaving Pet Pig Locked In Hot Car

JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami/CNN) – Arrests have been made following a hot car incident in Florida, but this one did not involve a young child or a dog.

A Jacksonville pig was trapped inside a car in the parking lot of the Avenues Mall on Monday, and the situation nearly ended in tragedy.

Miranda Lamendola and her co-worker called security after noticing the pig was left in the car in the scorching heat.

"We notice the pig is in the car and of course were looking to see what is going on," said Lamendola. "The car is parked with no a/c. All four windows only have an inch actually cracked so not even my arm could actually fit through it."

Security told Lamendola they didn't have the authority to get inside the car without the owner's permission.

Hot Pit Arrests
Mark Gray and Trinity Tavarez-Soto were arrested on animal cruelty charges after leaving their pet pig locked in a hot car. (Source: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

"At that point I call [Jacksonville Sheriff's Office] because 45 minutes goes by since I actually videotaped, knowing that the pig has no water, has no food and he's freaking out like I'm freaking out after 45 minutes after this whole process," she said.

Once JSO arrived, they began looking and waiting for the owners to show up but then the pig's condition worsened.

"At this point, an hour since I made the video, since I've made the video, the pig is in here and he's foaming at the mouth," Lamendola explained. "When he foamed at the mouth, I was freaking out. At first I actually thought he was throwing up, but no he was foaming. He was shaking and that's when I turned to the cop and said he is foaming at the mouth. Can you please break the window?"

The officer eventually broke the window, freeing the pig.

"They broke the window, got the pig in the back seat of the cop car," said Lamendola. "So when he got in there, luckily we had water. So we sprayed the water all along the pig and he was finally responding to us. And at this point, we had to grab more water from inside of the mall, a whole bucket, just so he could drink and get himself back to normal."

After more than an hour of the pig being left in the car, its owners, Mark Gray and Trinity Tavarez-Soto, finally show up and were arrested on animal cruelty charges.

Lamendola says she's grateful she helped save the pig.

"I was so happy because this pig is so cute and adorable," she said. "So it was just, it was very gratifying knowing I was able to save a life. Because it was going to die."

Animal care and protective services now have custody of the pig.

(©2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)


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