Const. Janelle Shoihet rescued an overheated dog last August by breaking a truck’s window with her baton.

Put yourself in your dog’s place

Editor:

I’ve been trying for the last 15-20 minutes to rescue a puppy from a locked car.

Editor:

When will they ever learn?

I’ve just returned from Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, temperature 25 degrees, where I’ve been trying for the last 15-20 minutes to rescue a puppy from a locked car.

As I was returning to my car, I heard the barking, crying of a young dog, and upon approaching the Mazda Protégé, was appalled to see a small pup, tethered to the seat, unable to reach the cracked windows, jumping from front to back trying to attract attention.

I noted the make of car and ran into PriceSmart customer service and asked that they page the owner to return to his/her car as their pup was in trouble.

I returned to the car and attempted to gain access by squeezing my hand down the 1½-inch opening to unlock the door. When I found this impossible, I checked all the doors and, of course, they were locked.

I asked another shopper if she had a cellphone so I could call the police. Sadly, she didn’t. Next, the man in the car next to the Mazda returned, and I asked if he could help gain access into the car. He tried using everything in the trunk of his car, again to no avail.

I was about to smash the window, as the pup had stopped jumping around and was now quiet. At that point, the owner and his children approached.

I asked why he’d left the dog in his hot car. He assured he was only gone 10 minutes. I’d been there at least 15.

I asked if he was aware of the number of dogs who die each year in heated cars and I urged him to leave his dog at home. He said he understood. I told him I was about to call the police. Again he said he understood.

But did he? Did he understand that it only takes minutes for the temperature to reach a degree that could kill a dog or, for that matter, a child?

Did he even stop to think that the dog had no shade, no water, was wearing its own ‘fur coat’ and was dashing about trying to gain attention, which in itself was raising its temperature?

Perhaps you’ve learned your lesson, sir, and I hope the wee dog is OK. I was too upset to be thinking straight and it was only in hindsight that I thought to have the pup checked, given a drink or, in fact, wetted down.

I would ask the dog’s owner to put himself in his pup’s place. The next afternoon when the temperature reads 25 C, put on your coat, roll up the windows to nearly closed and then sit there for 15 minutes, then perhaps you will really understand.

D. Walmsley, Surrey

 

 

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