Dog dies after being left on balcony that reached 131°, owner charged with animal cruelty

A dog has died after being left on its Sedro-Woolley balcony during this recent heat wave, with no shade or water, police said.

According to Sedro-Woolley police, on July 26, code enforcement officers received reports of a dog left outside on the balcony when temperatures were around 90 degrees. When the code enforcement officers arrived, they located the dog "in severe distress." 

They brought the dog inside to try and cool him down and tried to save his life, but the dog ultimately died.

According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, the dog's body had an internal temperature was at least 107 degrees -- the maximum temperature the vet's thermometer could detect, according to court documents.

Code enforcement officers used an infrared thermometer, which showed the temperature on the surface of the balcony reached around 131 degrees. There was also an empty water bowl and no shade on the balcony.  Court documents say there were signs that the dog was scratching at the screen door to be let in. 

The owner was arrested and booked into the Skagit County Jail on first-degree animal cruelty. 

Experts say a good rule to follow is to put the back of your hand on asphalt for seven seconds. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog's paws. 

If the air temperature reads 87 degrees, the asphalt can get up to 143 degrees, experts say. At 125 degrees, skin destruction for both humans and pets can occur within minutes. 

On hot days, keep pets' paws off pavement and asphalt, and take walks during the coolest hours of the day. Experts also advise checking paws daily for signs of damage. It's also recommended to use paw protection like booties or paw wax. 

If your pets do need to be outside, make sure their time outside is limited and that they have unlimited access to shade and water. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.