The ABC’s of Helping a Dog Locked in a Hot Car
Do you ever take your dog with you in your car? I mean, most of us do, every now and then. It’s time out of the home and most dogs love a car ride. For a dog, ride equals play time, or walks, maybe a treat from a fast food eatery, at the very least its wind in the fur and a chance to share time with their best friend in the entire world! So, let’s say you’re out for a few quick errands and your fur kid is your co-pilot. Is it okay to run into Walmart and pick up a few things? How about dashing into Taco Bell to order because their drive thru is 12 cars deep? Could you, quickly, fly into Kroger’s to pick up dog food and a few things you need? Unless they are a licensed Therapy Dog, chances are most of these places are NOT dog friendly. Whats and owner to do?
So you run in with the best laid plans to only be a moment, a quick-in/quick-out type of thing. The next thing you know, you see a couple more things you remembered you needed… or the checkout lines are a mile long… or you see your best buddy from high school and he wants to catch up on the latest gossip… and suddenly it’s not been 5 minutes, it’s been 45 minutes. All this time, your furry plan has been waiting. They’ve been waiting, and looking, and seeing other people walk by, and maybe barking, or playing with the strangers, or just staring out with sad eyes. DOG’S in CARS DRAW ATTENTION!
Let’s layer on that it’s 85 degrees outside. Now, you did the right thing and cracked the windows, but how much can you really crack the windows? It’s a cruel world, and there are people out there that would love to make your dog, their dog. There are also tons of animal lovers who see a dog in a hot car and, without knowing you or the situation, automatically assume the dog has been in there for a really long time, and is in danger of heat stroke, dehydration, or worse. The doors are locked for the safety of the dog and for the protection of your personal belongings…. As we’ve said, it’s a cruel world out there. The chances are ever increasing that when you come out from your “quick” run into whatever place you sauntered into, you’ll be greeted in one of a few ways… none of them fun or welcomed.
- Angry people surrounding your car, as if a protest has formed to “Free Rover”
- The police are at your car, with your dog, ticket in hand
- Your window is broken and your dog has been “freed” by someone trying to help them
- You have various hate notes on your windshield
As the dog population increases, and people more and more consider their dogs a member of the family that ranks along side of spouse and kids, there are going to be more dogs invited on rides that end up in parking lots with the windows cracked and the doors locked. We also live in a society where people think less and act on impulse more.
Let’s face it, dogs draw attention in cars. People love animals, sometimes too much. If you see a pet that you believe is in distress on a super hot day, you will likely want to help it. Nobody wants to see a tragedy happening right before their eyes. But… is it YOUR business? If you feel the dog is in a weather related emergency situation, regardless if its too hot or too cold outside, is it right to act? If you do act, what is the right way to react? It’s a sticky situation, one that sometimes drives emotion, action from the heart, and it all happens in an instant.