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SLIDELL,La. -- The Slidell Police Department arrested two women Sunday afternoon for leaving a puppy in their car while they shopped at the mall, according to police.

Police said they rescued the pit bull puppy from a car parked at the Northshore Square Mall in Slidell.

When officers retrieved the puppy from the car, they said the puppy was 'extremely dehydrated, lethargic and in need of medical attention.'

'There is no doubt that the puppy would have died if our officer wouldn't have intervened,' said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith. 'With the temperatures being as hot as they were, the inside of the car must have exceeded over 150 degrees; even with the windows cracked.'

The puppy was trapped inside the vehicle with the windows barely cracked, no water and nearing death, according to police. With the outside temperature around 92 degrees, officers broke into the car and saved the puppy.

After waiting 30 minutes for the owners to come back to their car, officers arrested Lajessica McKenzie, 23, and Carleisha Shelly, 20, charging them with simple cruelty to animals. According to police, the girls said they didn't think they would be shopping that long.

The puppy is being housed at the Slidell Animal Shelter and is doing well, according to police. It is not certain whether the girls will get the puppy back.

'People need to realize that leaving a child or animal inside of a vehicle during the summer can be deadly,' said Smith. 'My officers are instructed to take any action necessary to preserve life, whether it is a child or an animal.'

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