What would you do if you saw a dog trapped inside a hot car? Local officials usually recommend that you call the police or nearest animal welfare agency and report it. While that may be a helpline, depending on how long you have to wait until someone comes to help is a gamble with a dog’s life. Every minute counts when a dog is trapped inside on a sweltering day, or even a mildly hot day since temperature quickly rise inside a closed car.
There is actually a meme making the waves around Facebook lately that says “ Heat Advisory Warning: Leaving a dog, child, or cat inside a hot car will result in your windows being smashed with a brick.” Harsh? Perhaps, but I say necessary when it comes to the safety of an animal. One Albuquerque woman, Susanne Jones took matters into her own hands when she noticed a dog sizzling inside a car outside of a medical clinic:
“The temperature was very hot, the car had to have been very hot. It was not sitting in the shade. She didn’t have a sun visor up and I just felt like if I stayed there and watched I was gonna watch the dog die.”
Jones first saw the dog as he was pawing at the windows while panting. She called 911 who told her she had to call 311 and contact the Animal Welfare Department (stupid in my opinion on the part of the 911 operator- why couldn’t a local police officer come to help?).
After waiting for 40 minutes with no help in sight, when Jones noticed the dog curl up and lay down on the floor exhausted from the heat, she knew she a small window of time before he would die so she took a safety club from her own car and smashed the window to save the dog.
Then the police arrived and soon after, an animal welfare worker showed up. Just then, the dog’s owner, Claire “Cissy” King came back (she was at a doctor’s appointment with her 98-year-old mother). Surprisingly, she was not angry that Jones had smashed her window. The police told her she had broken the law by leaving the dog inside a hot car and then asked her if she wanted to file a claim against Jones:
“The officer asked if I wanted to file a counter-complaint. I said about what, and he said about the lady who broke your window. I said absolutely not – no – I’m sure she did what she felt like she needed to do at the time.”
King thanked Jones for saving the dog.
Thankfully, this story had a happy ending but no one should leave a dog in a car when it’s hot … ever. This story could have very easily ended tragically if Jones hadn’t taken action.
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