Lifestyle & Human Interest

Good Samaritan Saves Life of Tiny Pig Left Trapped in Car on Blazing Hot Day


A small pig found trapped inside a hot car is alive and thriving thanks to the attentiveness of a mall employee in Jacksonville, Florida, who advocated for the animal’s life.

Year after year, especially in the summer months, the same message gets repeated: Do not leave living creatures unattended inside hot vehicles.

Yet despite public warnings and reminders, there are people who sacrifice safety for convenience, believing a slightly opened vehicle window and a little water will be adequate to keep animals alive even while temperatures inside the vehicle rise to dangerously unhealthy levels.

On May 27, mall employee Miranda Lamendola was on her way to work when she noticed a little pig locked inside a vehicle.

The windows had been rolled down a little and a container of water had been left inside, but according to Lamendola, the pig was distressed.

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Temperatures in Jacksonville that day were upwards of 90 degrees outside. Lamendola described the pig as foaming at the mouth and trembling, desperate to cool down.

Any animal would struggle in such hot temperatures, but the pig is especially prone to overheating.

According to the National Animal Disease Information Service, pigs are not very good at regulating their own body heat.

Pigs cannot sweat, have relatively small lungs, and rely on their environment, such as shady resting places and mud patches, to help their bodies stay cool.

“I was freaking out,” Lamendola told the Orlando Sentinel. “It was going to die.”

Lamendola initially called mall security, who said they were not authorized to break into a car window. Refusing to abandon the animal, she called 911.

An officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office ran the vehicle plate in an attempt to find the owner but was unsuccessful in making contact. The officer then broke the window to free the overheating animal.

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While the pig waited in the officer’s air-conditioned vehicle, suspects Mark Antonio Gray, 20, and Trinity Lizette Tavarez-Soto, 19, soon strode out of the mall and walked toward the Lexus where the pig had been abandoned.

Police ended up arresting the pair, charging them with animal abuse, The Florida Times-Union reported.

Lamendola was relieved that the pig ended up surviving the ordeal.

“I really do feel good knowing that I did a random act of kindness that ended up saving a life,” she told Inside Edition.

The Sentinel reported the female pig was relocated to a farm and is doing well.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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