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Crime & Courts

Winfield Township man charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving puppy in hot car

A Winfield Township man was charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving a Chihuahua puppy inside a vehicle in 93-degree weather June 11, according to St. Charles police reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

The puppy survivied, but Marco A. Alvarez-Guijosa, 43, of the 29W700 block of Hurlingham Drive, Winfield Township, was charged under the city’s local ordinance for animal cruelty. Alvarez-Guijosa is scheduled to appear in branch court July 27, records show.

Police were called about 6:15 p.m. June 11 to Walmart, 150 Smith Road, St. Charles, for a report of a dog left unattended inside a vehicle, the report stated. The officer saw a small white Chihuahua puppy inside a silver Jeep Liberty that was parked in the shade with its front and back windows cracked open about a half-inch, according to the report.

A witness told the officer the Jeep had been parked there when he went into the Walmart about an hour earlier, the report stated.

Walmart employees told police they made eight announcements for the driver of the silver Jeep Liberty and specifically for Alvarez-Guijosa regarding the dog being left in the car, including one in Spanish. No one came forward, the report stated.

The officer noted the puppy woke up, stood on the back seat, walked around, then lay down on a bottle of water on the back seat, according to the report.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Alvarez-Guijosa approached his vehicle, pushing a cart half full with Walmart bags, and opened the doors, the report stated.

Using a translator, the officer spoke to Alvarez-Guijosa about the danger to a dog of being left in a hot car and the lack of ventilation it was receiving. The officer then asked why he didn’t come outside as soon as he heard the announcements in the store, according to the report.

Alvarez-Guijosa told police he was in the back of the store when he heard the announcement and came as fast as he could, but the officer pointed out he had checked out with his purchases, first, the report stated.

Alvarez-Guijosa told the officer he thought he was doing right because he parked in the shade and cracked the windows of the Jeep, according to the report.

The officer told Alvarez-Guijosa it was 93 degrees outside and asked how hot he thought it was inside the car, to which Alvarez-Guijosa replied it was “probably much higher,” the report stated.

Alvarez-Guijosa told the officer it was his first puppy, and he did not know all the dangers associated with leaving it in a vehicle, according to the report.

By the time the officer returned to the station at 9 p.m., he documented the outside temperature at 89 degrees, the report stated.

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