Posted on 1 Comment

Coventry Man Cited For Leaving Dog in Car

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Warwick, RI – Warwick Police cited a Coventry man for leaving his dog inside his car at the TJ Maxx at 1245 Bald Hill Road on an 80-degree afternoon Aug. 26.

Warwick Officer Tammy Mello was called to the TJ Maxx parking lot for a report of a dog left in a vehicle at 12:50 p.m. When she arrived, the officer was directed to a black Honda parked near the front entrance. She saw a man securing a child in the car, and also saw a dog in the back seat.

Mello spoke with the man, informing him about the report of someone leaving a dog in a vehicle. The man, identified as Joshua Bilotta, 37, of 20 Battery Ave., Coventry, said he had left the dog in the car while shopping in TJ Maxx for 5-10 minutes.

Mello informed him of a recently passed state law and city ordinance prohibiting leaving a dog in a car during extreme weather, a misdemeanor, according to her report. Bilotta said it wasn’t hot out and the dog, a 14-month old golden doodle, Barnaby, was fine.

Bilotta called dispatch to check on the day’s weather, and a dispatch informed her reported the temperature was 80 degrees, according to the report.

The officer asked Bilotta to remove the dog from the vehicle so she could examine it for signs of heat exhaustion, which he did. According to Mello’s report, the dog appeared to be OK.

Animal Control Officer Amy Cassisi arrived shortly after, according to her report. She reported that the car’s sunroof had been open and all four windows had been cracked about 3 inches.

A check of the interior temperature of the car was not performed, since Bilotta had turned on the air conditioning by the time Mello arrived.

According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center, the interior of a car can rise to 110 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80-degree day, even with the windows slightly open.

The officers issued Billota a violation for an animal confined to a motor vehicle according to City Ordinance 4-133. He is scheduled to appear to answer the charge Sept. 18 in Warwick Municipal Court.

Bilotta was also advised to not take the dog with him during a shopping trip or a situation where the dog will be in a car for longer than 10 minutes.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

This is a test