I’ve posted about a million warnings to dog owners NOT to leave their pups in the car even with the window cracked on my Kritter Keepers Facebook page and shared different articles from different resources including a video where a vet has sat in a hot car for 30 minutes and showed the temperature increasing steadily. But yet as I pulled into the parking lot yesterday to get my hair cut , the car in the spot in front of me had a darling little terrier bouncing around the car. It was 91 degrees according to the external temp reading on my car. The person who left the dog did put the front seat windows down about half way.
What would you do in this situation? I thought about taking the dog. I carry lots of leashes in my car. But I didn’t. I waited a few minutes and then I walked into my hair appointment. I’m very disappointed in myself. So why wouldn’t I act on this? Mainly I think I was afraid of repercussions from the owner. I hate confrontations. Fight or flight, right?
Once, we were fostering a dog who was on death row because she had tested positive for heartworm. Since I was the one who captured her off the street, when animal control called me and told me they were putting her down, I was there to get her immediately. I went from animal control directly to my vet who was on the other side of town. Literally. They were as far east in Cobb County as I was in Western Cobb County. Beatrice was in the car and we had finished at the vet — except for the heart worm she was in fine health and I could introduce her to my two other dogs with the Vet’s blessing.
In the same shopping plaza as my vet was a store that I desperately needed to go into. I just got my new 1997 Ford Explorer with the cool keyless entry fob thingy. If you know about Ford Explorers you also know that there is a door combination for you to get in if you don’t have your keys or have locked them inside. I had this car for about a week and I did not set the alarm code yet. But I had a great idea — I would leave the key in the car with the air conditioning running and I’ll just take the keyless entry fob and click the door open when I come back.
Well, what I didn’t know was that if the key is in the car with the car running, the fob didn’t work! So here was poor Beatrice locked in my car with the car running! I went back into the store — which by the way, I can’t even remember why it was so important — and called my husband. We had just moved to Western Cobb County closer to where the Animal Control was. I had to wait while he drove across town to bring me the spare set of keys.
By the time he got to us, we had quite a little crowd watching the dog in the running car. It didn’t help that I kept trying to get her to mash the unlock button on the door. It was a bit of a comedy show. Beatrice was in the driver’s seat and she kept standing on the steering wheel like she was going to take off and drive.
I’ll admit, I didn’t know the dangers of leaving a dog in the car in the warm weather when I was younger. I had a black lab Boo Boo who went everywhere with me. But as pet ownership has matured so has our learning curve. Things that were normal even 10 years ago, we now know the harm it can cause.
I have approached people in parking lots with a dog in the car and them about to leave with the window cracked. A lot of people don’t know the damage that it can cause but with the recent deaths in the news of the police dog here in Georgia as well as the rash of children being left on school vans and back seats with tragic endings should be enough to stop this from happening.
So back to yesterday with the little dog in the car — what would you do?