Manhattan cops rescued a shivering Chihuahua that had been left locked inside a car amid 10-degree temps in Soho.
“If the cops hadn’t gotten into the car, the dog surely would have died,” witness Matteo Prandoni, 43, recalled. “The dog was in such a shock and freezing, he didn’t bark. The dog got as close as possible to the jacket of the officer [who helped rescue him] to look for warmth.”
Haoyang Chen, 23, the dog’s owner, was arrested and charged with illegal confinement of an animal in a vehicle. A police source called Chen “stupid’’ for leaving the tiny pooch in the freezing car after dark.
“He just better hope Rin Tin Tin isn’t at the pearly gates,” the source said.
When a Good Samaritan flagged down 1st Precinct officers near West Broadway and Prince Street, he alerted them to the dog in the locked blue Saab sedan. The NYPD Emergency Service Unit were contacted by the police, and members jimmied open the car door and fetched the chilly dog.
Police left a note for the owner to come to the 1st Precinct station house, where they arrested Chen, an international exchange student when he came to claim the dog.
Chen, who studies biomedicinal engineering at a Philadelphia college was arraigned Sunday. The judge released him without bail and ordered him to return to court Feb. 23.
Chen adopted the dog with girlfriend Shuyun Luo, 24, on Dec. 10. He said the police were overreacting and things had been “blown way out of proportion.”
“We love Mary,” he said through tears.
“I wouldn’t do anything to hurt [Mary]. We adopted her because we want to protect her.”
Luo claimed Mary was shaking not because it was cold but because she was scared of strangers.
“She is different from other dogs,” she said. “Mary always feels scared and shakes.”
The dog was placed in Animal Care and Control. Chen said he and Luo plan to try to get the dog back.
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