Harkins Theatres owner cited by Scottsdale police for animal neglect

PHOENIX (AP) — The owner of an Arizona-based movie theater chain has been cited for animal neglect after he allegedly left his dog in a car for more than three hours.

Scottsdale police said Dan Harkins, 57, will appear in a city court at a later date.

An officer was flagged down Saturday night by someone who noticed a 5-year-old female corgi alone in a BMW sedan parked at the Harkins Shea 14 movie theater.

Harkins later returned to his car and told officers he arrived at the theater at about 3:45 p.m., but had checked on the dog multiple times.

Because the temperature outside exceeded 100 degrees, police said Harkins was cited for animal neglect and for illegal parking in a handicapped space.

Calls by The Associated Press to Harkins at his corporate offices in Scottsdale for comment were not immediately returned Monday. But Harkins told Phoenix TV station KPHO that he checked on his dog Tanga regularly and gave her water twice in a dish on the car's floorboard.

Harkins also said he couldn't bring his dog into the theater because of health code concerns. He said he planned to pay the illegal parking fine and show some public service announcements at his theaters about not leaving pets in a car.

Harkins Theatres, founded by Harkins' father in 1933, operates 30 theaters with more than 400 screens throughout the Southwest. A majority of the theaters are in Arizona with others in California, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.


Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com