ROCKLAND, Maine — A Thomaston man was fined $500 Thursday after a judge ruled that he had left his dog inside a hot car on an August day in Camden.

The Camden police officer who responded to the call said when the owner returned to the car, she ordered him to sit in the hot vehicle with the doors closed and windows largely rolled up.

Judge Patricia Worth ruled Thursday that Ian Lary had committed the civil offense of cruelty to animals. She made her finding immediately after both Lary and Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody completed their arguments during the bench trial requested by Lary in Rockland District Court.

Camden Police Officer Brook Hartshorn testified that she responded to a complaint about a dog having been left in a car on the afternoon of Aug. 24. The temperature that day was 80 degrees, there was no breeze and it was sunny, the officer said. There was no shade where the station wagon was parked on Atlantic Avenue.

The windows were rolled down about 2 ½ inches and there was no water for the dog, the officer testified.

Hartshorn said the dog was panting heavily and she was scared for its safety. She managed to get her arm inside the car and opened a door but the dog growled and would not come outside.

The officer was able to determine the owner of the vehicle and telephoned Lary twice. She said she left a message the last time saying she would be taking his dog if he did not respond. She said Lary called back and within a few minutes was back at the car, about 40 minutes after Hartshorn first responded to the complaint.

When he arrived, the mixed breed dog named Sophie was taken out of the car but Lary disagreed with the officer that the dog was in any danger.

Hartshorn said she told Lary to sit in the car and see how long he could stand it with the doors closed and the windows rolled up to the same height. She said after 10 minutes, Lary was sweating profusely and he got out of the car.

Lary nevertheless disagreed with Hartshorn’s assessment of the situation during his testimony.

He said the windows were rolled down more than she had said they were, asking the officer how she could have unlocked the door if the windows were up that high.

“My arms are skinny,” Hartshorn replied.

Lary said he and his girlfriend had taken the dog to the dog park and it had played in the water and been given a lot to drink before they left her in the vehicle to walk to a downtown deli for lunch. He said he doubted they were gone 40 minutes, but, at most, it would have been 40 minutes. He said he did not immediately answer the calls because he didn’t recognize the phone number.

Lary said when he returned, Sophie was fine and was still wet from having played in the water. The dog was offered water but was not interested in it, he said.

The dog was not left at home because she was a shelter dog who suffered from anxiety when left at the house. He admitted in hindsight, however, that he or his girlfriend should have remained behind with the dog.

Lary said he loves Sophie and that is why he got her from the shelter.

“In retrospect, it was not the best idea,” he said about leaving the dog in the car.