We hear the warnings every season, and still, animals are being left to die in hot cars. Some suffer for hours while their owners dally, ignorant to the pain they’re inflicting on their pets.
The story in the U.S. is no different than it is across the pond, where every summer, police are called to rescue animals trapped in boiling hot cars.
In many cases, they arrive much too late.
Officers who arrived to find a dog locked in a Citroen C1 in Wigan thankfully had time on their side, though not much. According to Wigan Today, if they had come just a few minutes later, a Border Collie would have been dead, and its owner facing much more serious charges.
A passerby who first spotted the dog called the office of the car park. The car was parked in the shade, but even outside the car, air temperatures were above 80 degrees, making it much hotter in the vehicle.
“The dog was not looking good in there. It was listless and unresponsive,” said APCOA assistant contract manager Kevin Sumner. “We got a bottle and made a hole in the top so we could squirt water inside just to cool the dog down. It didn’t respond at first but then lifted its head and we were able to squirt water into its mouth.”
Sumner and two local wardens wedged open the window gap far enough to fit an arm in and open the door. An RSPCA officer arrived a few minutes later.
“They said that if we had left him in there and not done anything until the officer arrived the dog might have died,” Sumner said.
After officers arrived and rescued the black and white dog from the sweltering Citroen, workers from the RSPCA were quick to help cool it down, and are now caring for it at a veterinary facility. Sumner took the responsibility of confronting the owner.
He arrived 3 hours later, quite angry, but seemingly uninterested in the animal.
“I was just happy to inform him that he didn’t have a dead dog on his hands,” Sumner said. “I would add that any animal found left in any vehicle, seen by any APCOA employee whilst doing their duties on the car parks will be acted upon in the same manner in order to ensure its safety.”
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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