Man accused of locking poodle in hot car pleads not guilty

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The first Rhode Islander charged under a new law aimed at protecting animals pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday.

David Rodriguez, 48, of Providence, was arrested last week. Police say he left his poodle inside his hot car while he was inside a Johnston store, an act that – according to a bill recently signed into law by R.I. Gov. Chafee – is now considered a misdemeanor offense.

The official name of the charge brought against Rodriguez is illegal confinement of an animal in a motor vehicle.

He pleaded not guilty and was freed on personal recognizance. He is due in court next month.

In the meantime, his poodle was turned over to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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