An Irish owner of a Tesla Model S five-door liftback had charges of animal cruelty against him dismissed because of the car's patented Tesla "Dog Mode."

Ross Hunt, an artificial intelligence (AI) expert from Dublin, Ireland, was arrested by an officer of the "Garda Síochána" (Ireland's police department) in June 2018 for animal endangerment during tht year's heatwave.

Hunt said he left his poodle named Loki inside his Model S when he met with his solicitor at a bistro in Dublin. But before leaving his Tesla, Hunt turned-on Dog Mode which kept the interior of the electric vehicle (EV) at a cool 20°Celsius (68°Fahrenheit) for his poodle.

While he was inside the pub, a passerby saw Loki inside the car and was apparently concerned the dog might be sweltering because of the weather. The passerby did not see the car's air conditioner turned on.

The passerby alerted a Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) inspector and a police officer (called "gardai" in Irish). Seeing a crowd milling in front of his Tesla, Hunt ran towards his car shouting, "That’s my car!" to the surprise of the police officer and the DSPCA inspector.

He showed both men his smartphone with an app displaying the Tesla’s interior temperature.

Hunt explained his dog was in no danger of being roasted to death because of Dog Mode but the gardai arrested him and charged him, nevertheless. The gardai also said Hunt swore at them and was acting very agitated.

Hunt later told the court he thought the gardai and the DSPCA man were about to break the window of his Tesla to rescue his dog.

He told judge John Brennan what he told the gardai: that Dog Mode kept the temperature inside his EV at 20°Celsius. Hunt also said he would never endanger Loki, and that the dog was with him everywhere. He also said Loki is somewhat of a mascot for his company, which uses AI to monitor cows and their welfare in farms in north America.

The court then subpoenaed a Tesla technician from the Dublin service center to explain how Dog Mode and the EV's climate control system works.

Judge Brennan accepted Hunt’s evidence and dismissed the charges. He said it was quite clear Hunt was a very loving, responsible and caring dog owner. He also commended the passerby for contacting the gardai after she saw Loki inside the car.

Tesla Model S in Norway
A Tesla Model S leaves a Tesla service center in Oslo, Norway. The Model S became the top selling electric car in Norway in March 2019. PIERRE-HENRY DESHAYES/AFP/Getty Images