A Providence man was charged with leaving his dog in a hot car while he shopped at BJ's Wholesale Club in Johnston on Monday.
Police said the David Rodriguez, 48, left his poodle in his car and the temperature inside rose to 124 degrees, the Providence Journal reported.
Rodriguez was the first person charged under a new animal cruelty law that makes it illegal to leave a pet inside a hot car. Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently signed off on the legislation and the law took effect July 1.
"(The dog) had been there for quite some time," Johnston deputy Police Chief Dan Parillo told WJAR-TV. "It was panting, salivating. Its tongue was hanging out."
The dog was rescued and transferred to the custody of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The law stipulates that it's illegal "for any person to confine any animal in a motor vehicle which places the animal in a life threatening or extreme health threatening situation by exposing the animal to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from the extreme temperature."
Rodriguez was charged with a misdemeanor and could face a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Authorities told WJAR he might not get his pet back.