PILESGROVE TOWNSHIP — A state trooper forced entry into a car to rescue a dog that was suffering from severe heat stroke Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

According to a statement from New Jersey State Police, Trooper Frankie Williams was dispatched to the parking lot of Ranch Hope Thrift Store in Pilesgrove at about 2:27 p.m. after someone called police to report a dog inside a Mercedes-Benz with only one window opened approximately one inch.

When Williams arrived, he saw a toy poodle lying on its side in a crate within the car. Police say the dog was "in obvious distress."

"Fearing for the dog's safety, he quickly decided to break the rear driver's side window with his expandable baton," state police said in a statement.

The officer removed the poodle from the crate and carried it to a shaded area where he gave the dog water, and poured water over its body to immediately cool it off. Troopers then transported the poodle to Saint Francis Veterinary Center in Woolwich, Gloucester County, where a veterinarian determined that the dog was suffering from heat stroke and was in critical condition.

Police have identified the dog's owner as a 43-year-old woman from State College, Pa. She was charged with animal abuse and released pending a court date. State police did not release the woman's name.

Police said in the statement they were withholding the name of the accused because "we know many people get especially upset when animals are abused."

The dog is now in stable condition, and will remain with animal control officers until the owner's court hearing, police said.

Police repeated the warning that leaving animals in an enclosed vehicle could be deadly.

"Even if it doesn't feel too hot outside, leaving your pets unattended in a car with windows rolled up can have deadly consequences," authorities said.

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at toniann.antonelli@townsquaremedia.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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