Exclusive: Two Dogs Die After Mother, Nine Puppies Found Inside Hot Vehicle in Concord – Suspect Arrested

May 19, 2017 12:25 pm · 39 comments

Two puppies are dead and eight other dogs, including the mother were rescued by Concord Police this week after a man left them in an unattended vehicle on Clayton Rd., according to police.

Police say just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a Concord Police Officer was flagged down by a citizen in the 4700 block of Clayton Rd. The citizen reported several dogs were left alone in a vehicle for at least an hour, according to police.

Officers located a female dog and nine puppies, who appeared to be less than a week old, inside the vehicle. The puppies appeared in distress, so an Officer took them to Sage Emergency Vet. Unfortunately, two of the puppies died and were turned over to Animal Services, along with the other puppies and the female dog, according to police.

Officers did not notice any accessible food or water for the dogs inside the vehicle.

Clifford Gough, a 55-year-old man from Concord, was identified as the caretaker of the dogs and arrested for Animal Cruelty and Animal Endangerment, police said. Gough is a transient, according to the Concord Police arrest report.

The case was submitted to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges. The exact cause of death hasn’t been released at this time.

UPDATE: A third dog died, according to Steve Burdo with Contra Costa County Animal Services (CCAS).

The mother and six remaining pups are recovering at CCAS. The veterinarians at CCAS will perform a necropsy to determine if the cause of death was heat exhaustion or something else.

Sierra May 19, 2017 at 12:41 PM

There is no excuse for someone to leave any living thing in a car like this.

Why Am I Hungry May 19, 2017 at 12:49 PM

A mama and her nine puppies? They should be home not in a car! Hope he gets what’s coming to him.

😐 May 19, 2017 at 12:58 PM

Horrible, horrible human. I hope he gets the worst possible punishment.

Jason May 19, 2017 at 1:17 PM

Makes me want to puke. 🤢 Who does this?!?

Schmee May 19, 2017 at 1:22 PM

Clifford? Ironic name. He’s no big red dog tho

Lo May 19, 2017 at 1:26 PM

You would think Clifford would know how to treat a dog given his namesake.

But in all seriousness, people are DUMB and I hope the mom dog and the surviving pups all make it. This is one of those times where I don’t hate the “an eye for an eye” scenario. Let’s put HIM in there for an hour or so and see how he feels. Probably like a big, red dog.

Bancroft Mom May 19, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Leave him in a hot car as punishment! Jerk!

SF oh May 19, 2017 at 1:29 PM

Horrible person – I hope he gets the max punishment. First of all, his dog should’ve been spayed and secondly, anyone who will not properly care for an animal should not be allowed to have one. The creep was probably planning to sell the puppies. I hope all the dogs recover and are adopted in to good homes.

Dalinian May 19, 2017 at 1:32 PM

Put him in a car, on Clayton road, for 5 hours….Crack the windows a little…

Cali girl May 19, 2017 at 1:44 PM

Ya I like your idea Dalinian… cept I wouldn’t crack the window.

MikeT May 19, 2017 at 1:45 PM

so very sad

J R May 19, 2017 at 2:14 PM

Amen to “SF oh”

MonteVista73 May 19, 2017 at 2:33 PM

Hot car as punishment!!!!!!!!!!!😡😡😡😡😡😡

FCA May 19, 2017 at 2:35 PM

No cure for STUPID!!!

Dizzy May 19, 2017 at 2:38 PM

What’s interesting is if you call one of these jerks out for doing it they will get very defensive and angry at you and say the dogs are fine. Sure they are.

Divided and Concord May 19, 2017 at 3:17 PM

Makes me crazy to hear about all the ignorant things people do. Thankfully he was charged with animal cruelty. It’s a felony in all 50 states.

The Reasonabilist May 19, 2017 at 3:22 PM

I had a lighter explode in my car yesterday. Its getting hot again, everyone. Don’t forget it!

Incognito May 19, 2017 at 3:35 PM

This is happening all to often everywhere.
Sad that people have become so stupid and lack common sense.
There should be some serious consequences for this type of thing and unless that happens… it will continue to happen.

KG May 19, 2017 at 3:35 PM

Thank you Concord PD. Very sad, but could have been a whole lot worse :(.

anonamiss May 19, 2017 at 3:44 PM

I agree with others here, leave this jerkwipe in a hot vehicle without food or water!!! Throw him in jail with the general population and let them take care of this pathetic excuse for a human being. 🙁

Lo May 19, 2017 at 3:48 PM

@Divided and Concord

“The case was submitted to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges”

Possible charges.

I just don’t understand how it is EVEN a question!

Cellophane May 19, 2017 at 4:43 PM

Clifford Gough, may you rot in hell. And very soon.

Atticus Thraxx May 19, 2017 at 4:46 PM

Good job, citizen who flagged down CPD.

Divided and Concord May 19, 2017 at 5:01 PM


You’re right. I just re-read it and that a third dog died. Even if there’s some poor excuse like..he was inebriated and so it wasn’t intentional blah blah blah…animal cruelty is animal cruelty. He should be charged.

Animal lover May 19, 2017 at 5:11 PM

This person should be locked in a hot car and left there till he or she dies. We need more punishment in the US.

Ano May 19, 2017 at 5:44 PM

I hope they impounded his car as it was part of the crime. Then he has to pay big bucks to get it out. Nothing will happen to this guy our DA does not prosecute anything. He should also be brought up on charges.

THE BLACK KNIGHT May 19, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Lo #21,

He hasn’t yet been charged, because the cause of death has not yet been determined. They have to wait for necropsy results first, to determine if the conditions of the surviving puppies and mother, and the deaths of the three puppies were heat related or if something else was the problem.

Bird lover May 19, 2017 at 7:03 PM


Bird lover May 19, 2017 at 8:14 PM

How many times do we have to hear this?? So dumb!
Then the next story will be a tiny baby left in the car!
I think on hot days we need volunteers that patrol parking lots
armed with hammers and a witness to break into these cars with either pets or children and call the authorities immediately to arrest these irresponsible
people that leave their precious kids and or animals in their cars on hot days!
In fact they can perish even when it is not hot outside because the car windows magnify the sun beating down on the cars!

Pet Owner May 19, 2017 at 8:23 PM

The article above identifies the man as a transient. I wonder if he was living in the car with the mother dog and the puppies? Unfortunately, many people don’t realize how fast a car overheats to a point that’s deadly for animals inside, or they think that leaving a car window open slightly is enough to compensate for the heat, when it’s really not.

Khloe May 19, 2017 at 9:11 PM

Thank you Claycord and thank you Mr. DA for bringing awareness to dogs and hot cars. A car is already approx 20 to 30 hotter inside than outside, plus cracked Windows don’t help when your dog wears a fur coat.

Person May 19, 2017 at 10:30 PM

And Claycord, can you please post something to people walking their dogs in high temps. I saw a handful of people walkng their dogs today when it was 93 degrees outisde. If the pavement is too hot for our bare feet, it’s too hot for your dogs paws!

Whitney May 20, 2017 at 12:02 AM

This I just horrible… but I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to inquire about adopting one or more of the surviving dogs, the brave mother included!

Dubs May 20, 2017 at 7:40 AM

The person who found the dogs and flagged down the officer said the dogs had been in there an hour? Why didn’t they break a window?? Call the cops sooner??

Coach Stan May 20, 2017 at 8:12 AM

@Bird lover, do you realize how hard it is to break auto glass that is fully rolled up with a hammer, or other object, like a rock or skateboard?


grandmato3 May 20, 2017 at 11:36 AM

Can’t the window be broken without being charged? Clifford killed those dogs and where was he anyway? Poor sweet pups…

anon May 20, 2017 at 12:10 PM

A number of years ago I called CPD dispatch & advised them of 2 dogs in a car–got nothing but stupid questions & gave up & drove away– no clue if they sent anyone..was going to break window…but no idea if anyone was coming

anon May 20, 2017 at 12:17 PM

OG. I read that ” …do you realize how hard it is to break auto glass that is fully rolled up with a hamster …” and I said to myself, “Why is he breaking the auto glass with a hamster? That’s even meaner than leaving the dogs in the car.” So I re-read it. For a minute there, it sounded like the solution was worse than the crime. It is very hard to break auto glass. They make a special tool for it, in fact. But, so sad some puppers did not survive.

Divided and Concord May 20, 2017 at 4:35 PM

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sells car sunshades for $20 that remind pet owners of the risks of leaving animals unattended in a car. The sunshades feature the message, “Warning: Don’t leave dogs in hot cars,” in lettering large enough to be readable from across a parking lot. It also urges people to call 911 if they find animals locked in a car and in distress. The sunshades are available at aldf.org/hotcars and all proceeds benefit the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

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