Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

The weather may be cooling down for much of the U.S., but there are still places where heat poses a problem for pets left in cars. Especially if you cram 21 dogs in a subcompact in a tropical climate.

Kat Linker was walking with her boyfriend near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki late last Thursday when she heard multiple dogs barking from a steamed-up Honda Fit. Linker called 911 and opened one of the car's unlocked doors. What she found shocked her.

"They were so suffocating in there and panting. When I opened the door, the stench that came out of that car was absolutely horrible. I felt so bad for the dogs," Linker told Hawaii News Now.

Twenty-one dogs both in cages and roaming free in the car were confiscated by police. The 68-year-old driver of the car was actually the mother of the breeder and had taken the dogs without permission.

Police are investigating charges of animal cruelty against the breeder's mother. The Hawaiian Humane Society says the dogs, all Pomeranian-Poodle mixes, are in good condition and will be returned to the breeder after being microchipped.