Public safety officer adopts dog he helped rescue from a hot car in hotel parking lot

German Shepherd with head out a car window
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Public safety officer Sam Poe has adopted a dog that he helped rescue from being locked inside a car in 90-degree heat.

Adopting a dog is a fantastic way to give a pup a new life and plenty of happiness. Most people will adopt dogs through rescue centers and animal shelters, but one man has adopted a dog he actually helped to rescue himself – truly going the extra mile for this lucky canine.

Indianapolis Police have said that a dog left in a hot car has been adopted by a public safety officer who helped rescue her from the vehicle.

According to WISH, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officers were sent to the Intown Suites Hotel after reports of a dog left in a Chevrolet sedan.

Officer Poe was on the scene when Abby, a German Shepherd, as well as another dog and cat, were left inside a locked car. The animals were found in a hotel parking lot by the hotel’s manager, who investigated after clever Abby honked the car’s horn.

Officers were able to rescue Abby and the cat, who were thought to have been in the car for around three hours, but the second dog unfortunately died as a result of the incident.

Seventy-four-year-old Norma Light and 53-year-old Charles Thomas are facing charges in relation to the incident. Light allegedly explained that she left the animals in the car because the hotel wasn’t pet-friendly.

Police shared on Facebook that PSO Poe got in touch with Indianapolis Animal Care Services afterward and adopted Abby, in what they described as a “touching display of humanity.” He said, “I switched her collar, and it was like Abby knew she was home for good.”

Social media users commented on the post, praising PSO Poe for taking Abby in.

Kiarah Miller, a witness who saw the dog in the car just before police arrived, while she was walking her own dog, said, “I knew something had to be deeper when I saw poor little paws just stretched out there.”

Another witness said they heard Mr Thomas asking the other dog, a pit bull, to “wake up.”

The police force added that Indianapolis residents are required to bring pets inside when it’s over 90 degrees outside, or when there’s a heat advisory in effect. And, police lieutenant Shane Foley urged better heat safety awareness for people and dogs, saying, “Dogs need to have water. They need to have food. They need to have shelter. They need to have a way to get out of the heat.”

If you’re taking your dog on a car journey in the hot weather – staying in the car with them, of course – here’s how to prevent heatstroke in dogs.

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Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.