ATLANTA — Despite rescue efforts by police and several bystanders, some of them in tears, a dog finally freed from a hot car in Alabama took its last breath on the pavement.
Stacy Guthrie shot video of the drama as it unfolded in a Walmart parking lot on Wednesday, in the Birmingham suburb of Trussville.
"Before I started recording, quite a few people were beating on the window with a tire iron, flashlight, just anything they could find to try and break the window," Guthrie told The Associated Press on Thursday.
"It started out very frustrating because you couldn't get to the dog," she recalled. "Once they got her out she was still breathing and it was just kind of touch-and-go at that moment."
The video shows a crowd gathered around a silver car parked outside the store.
At least one person attempts to open the car before a police officer breaks a window and officers remove the animal from the vehicle. The dog was dead within minutes.
A woman parked the car outside the store around 4 a.m., and the animal wasn't removed until about seven hours later, Trussville police Lt. Phil Dillon said. Store workers paged the driver, but no one responded.
Dillon says authorities plan to file charges once they find the dog's owner.
"There were so many people standing around really pulling for this dog, and the outcome was not what we hoped for," Guthrie said. "When the officer said she was no longer breathing it was heartbreaking," she said.