The Kansas City, Mo., animal shelter now caring for the terrier and schnauzer mix they’ve named Kia said she survived by eating trash left in the car from a McDonald’s restaurant. However, she apparently did not have access to water, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A car lot worker spotted Kia on Monday. Danny Rotert, spokesman for the Kansas City municipal government, said the employee was tagging cars for auction when Kia jumped on top of the dashboard of the Chevy Suburban in which she was trapped. The lot attendant then called the police, who broke into the impounded vehicle to rescue her. The vehicle had been sitting in the lot since April 8.
The Kansas City Star reports that on May 1, the owner of the vehicle, who has not been publicly named, showed up to inspect the car. However, he reportedly made no mention of owning a dog. Authorities say they are not sure if the man was actually in possession of the vehicle when it was impounded and noted that he did not have keys to access the vehicle when he visited the lot.
An Arizona Republic article reports that dogs usually cannot go more than two or three days without water and, as a general rule, require twice as much water as food on any given day.
“Without an appreciable amount of water, it’s pretty miraculous for a puppy to survive three weeks in a car,” veterinarian Billie Deam told the Star. “Physiologically it’s possible, depending on what she was eating to survive on,” she added. “But it’s really stretching the outer limits of what’s possible.”
Animal shelter spokeswoman Toni Fugate says Kia is expected to survive, but is currently recovering from severe dehydration and malnutrition.
While Kia won’t be fully healed for some time, the Kansas Pet Project says it is working on finding a foster home for her once she is ready to leave the shelter.
“Four weeks of her life she was trapped in the car, so she has no formal training,” Fugate said.