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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A dog, saved by police after being left inside his former owner’s hot car, has found a new home.

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Fiji is a little dog with a big story.  She was left inside a car with the window cracked in a parking lot at the Shops at Skylake in North Miami Beach.  Investigators believe she was in there nearly a half hour, and passed out.  That’s when police broke the window.

“If it wasn’t for the officers,” said Andrea, who’s fostering Fiji, “she wouldn’t be here, I’m convinced, she would not be here today.”

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Andrea credits the officers and the vet at Skylake Animal Hospital for keeping the three-month-old Chihuahua alive.

“Fiji happens to be a very lucky girl,” she said, “just precious, she is really adorable,” she said.

When Fiji was brought in, she was already cooling down.

“Our main priority was to start fluid therapy because that’s the number one way we can help reduce the heat of the animal,” said Dr. Zachary Gouzapoulos from Skylake Animal Hospital

Dr. Gouzapoulos warns in just a few minutes cars can heat up and be deadly for dogs, just like people.

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Natalia Nieto is accused of leaving her small dog inside a hot car parked. (Source: Miami-Dade Mugs)

Natalia Nieto is accused of leaving her small dog inside a hot car parked. (Source: Miami-Dade Mugs)

Fiji was left in the car when it was 80 degrees out, while investigators say her owner, Natalia Nieto, was eating with her family. Nieto was charged with animal cruelty.

Fortunately, Fiji was rescued from the hot car—and not in there any longer.

“This dog is extremely, extremely lucky,” said Dr. Gouzapoulos. “I think that the fact that the police force intervened with they did, acted quickly and swiftly really saved this dog’s life.”

Dr. Gouzapoulos told CBS4’s Ted Scouten the outlook for the puppy is great.

“The prognosis is excellent now,” he said.  “Aside from a stray flea or two, she’s perfect.”

Fiji will stay with her foster mom for the next few months as the legal system figures out what it’s going to do with her next.


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Ted Scouten