Dog Left in Hot Car

A heat wave hit Delaware last weekend, and Sunday evening my husband and I walked our thickly coated dog after 6 p.m. hoping that the heat had subsided. It was a hot-breeze night and the sun beat on us causing us to sweat.

As we continued our short walk passed an old grey Oldsmobile Cutlass parked in the sun, a tan dog with pointed ears, possibly a Pomeranian, jumped up and barked at us.

The fact that someone left this dog in a hot car appalled me.

The car windows were open about two inches, and there was no water in sight. As we debated our next move, a couple that lived in a house across the street from the car expressed concern and offered to help.

I dialed the local police, but I heard a recording and hung up. Then I dialed 911 and received a busy signal three times, when they attempted to connect me with my local emergency number.

I wondered how someone would deal with a busy signal if they were experiencing a heart attack. In addition, I thought that maybe I shouldn’t have called 911 over an animal-in-distress issue. What do you think?

Finally a 911 representative answered and suggested I call the SPCA located 45 minutes away. It was Sunday evening, and I suspected that by the time the SPCA responded it would be too late and the dog might die.

I asked the 911 representative to please call the local police and ask them to come to our location. I wasn’t sure that the representative would call the police, and I asked my husband to try to find the car’s owner.

My husband walked to the most likely location and found the dog’s owner enjoying a family outing. I suspect the man didn’t realize how hot it was in the car and he immediately gave the dog water. We didn’t stay, but I hoped that the owner let the dog out of the car and opened the windows.

Sources say that even when it is warm, a car can get dangerously hot. If you are considering taking a pet on a ride on a hot day and leaving him in the car, please err on the side of caution and leave your dog home.

Recently in the news, children and pets have died from adults leaving them in hot cars. Here are a few tips to prevent this tragedy with children:

1. Don’t leave your child alone in a car even for a minute

2. Give yourself visual reminders like put your cellphone or briefcase in the backseat with the child

3. Leave a child’s toy on the seat next to you

4. Make a point of checking the front and back of the car before locking it

5. If you see a child in a car alone dial 911

Following are a few tips to prevent animal heat stroke.

If you must take your dog on a hot day:

1. Use the drive up window when ordering food etc.

2. Take your pet into a pet friendly store

3. If you are a bystander and see a pet in a hot car, get involved

Be safe, and I hope that you enjoy your summer.


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