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Heiry Question: Rescuing a dog left in hot car

Dhicon_thumb By DogHeirs Team | July 08, 2012 | Answers (25)

As the heat wave continues in some parts of the world, veterinarians and animal control officers are reporting record numbers of dogs affected by heat, some dying as result. Despite repeated warnings, dog owners continue to leave their dogs in their cars in hot weather. 

If you saw a dog in the hot car how long would you wait for the dog's owner to return before rescuing the dog?

This question plagued Katie Neuman when she arrived at the Christiana Town Center to go shopping in Delaware.

dog saved from hot carIt was 91 degrees out, but Neuman said it felt like 100 degrees when she arrived at the shopping mall and walked past a parked car. She spotted a small Yorkie Chihuahua inside the car appearing very anxious and hot.

"He was barking and jumping all over the car," said Neuman. The windows were cracked down an inch but not enough to keep the car cool and not wide enough for her to pour water to the dog.

She went into a nearby shoe store and hoped they would make an announcement in case the owner was inside, but she says they refused. Neuman said she spent the next 45 minutes in the store and when she came back out, she saw the car with the dog still outside.

"When I came out and the dog was still in the car but he wasn't jumping around. He was looking lethargic, panting and laying on the seat," Neuman said. So she waited for another 45 minutes anxiously hoping the owners would appear.

Finally, out of desperation, she pulled the door handle of the car and to her surprise, it was unlocked.

"The puppy jumped out in my arms," said Neuman. "His little heart was racing." She poured cool water over the dog and he revived a bit. That's when she made the decision to leave a note on the car with her number and take the pup home with her to Philadelphia.

The owners picked the dog up the next day but told Fox 29 they were only in the shopping center for a short time, not two to three hours as Neuman claimed. It turns out they had been in the store next to the shoe shop.

Neuman said she only gave the dog back after she talked to DE State Police a few hours later. "Police told me that they would press charges against me for theft for taking the dog out of the car." Despite the threat of charges, Neuman said she stands by everything she did, saying it was for the dog's well being.

The SPCA reminded everyone to call them to report dogs stuck in heat and they will contact Animal Control, or to call 911.

Related Article: Identification and Treatment of Heat Stroke in Dogs



If you saw a dog in the hot car how long would you wait for a dog's owner to return before rescuing the dog?
Total votes 114
Vote 1 to 5 minutes
Vote 5 to 15 minutes
Vote 15 to 60 minutes
Vote None of the above, please explain
You must vote to see the resuts.


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Answers To This Question

Forget waiting. I'd call 911, go to my car, get my police baton, and shatter the window. There is no more time to wait.
As soon as I saw the dog looking distressed I would have to break a window, please leave your pets at home when it is warm outside..
I would most definatly break a window right away regardless of the outcome and then I would make sure the owner was arrested or fined really big no animal or child should be left in a car with hot weather
ok, I clicked on none of the above because it would depend on the dogs condition and/or the temp - it could be right then, it could be when the police arrive after I call 911.........
You wouldn't leave a young child in a hot car so why leave a dog in a hot car? If it is too hot for you to be able to comfortably sit in a hot car for a long period of time why do it to your dog? I'd wait between 5 to 15mins and then I'd be calling the cops and if the cops take longer then 10 mins to show up I'll be breaking windows.... There is a simple solution to this... Leave your dog at home!
Jessica, she states that she was in the store for 45 minutes, then waited by the car for another 45. That's an hour and a half right there, and no way of knowing how long the dog was in there before she showed up. Besides, it's the OWNER claiming they weren't in there that long....seems they have as much motivation to make false claims as she does, if not more. I also live in Florida and I wouldn't wait a fraction of the time she did. I'd try calling the police first, but if they don't show up or take their time....windows will be broken.
5 minutes, TOP, This happened the other day. Dog was panting bad and you really have no idea how long the poor dog has been in there. Brought my phone and walked back to store. Owner came out...said 5 minutes. I don't believe it. He actually thought being parked next to my big van would shade Ha it is a hot box for the dog. Poor dog had humidity(?) soaked on him? He was wet.
I wouldn't wait. If they're dumb enough to leave their animal in their car at all, they deserve a ticket. And if the animal seems in imminent danger, I'll break the window if I have to.
I would not wait. I would call animal control that instant. If anyone leaves a dog in a car on a day that is any warmer than 70 degrees, even with the windows open, they deserve to be cited for it.
It would depend on how the dog was handling it - if the dog looked stressed - I would do it immediately. If not - I would call 911 and perhaps wait 5 minutes - no more than 15 though - and if the police didn't show up by that time I'd find a way to get into the door.
time is of the essence. if the dog is left too long they will die . any animal for that matter. ( ive a semi stupid cat who overheats himself occasionally and has to have a cooling bath for treatment) so. tip for the rest of you folks out there. if you spot an overheated animal get them into a LUKEWARM bath to cool off. too cold and it would be as much of a shock as too hot.
God Bless that woman for doing what she did! I only wish she had taken him out sooner! And I agree Janis!! The owners should have been arrested! I had a similar situation here last week in NH, and the idiot who left her dog in the car threatened to have me arrested!! Grrrr!
How nice that the stupid police said they would arrest the woman who helped the dog, how about arresting the moron who left the dog in the car?
the same amount of time that you would wait if it were you in the car, how long would it take before you started banging on the windows if you were in the car? yeah, me too, it gets unbearable real fast, yeah so my answer is, i wouldn't wait...ever!
0 seconds. I would contact animal control immediately. There is no safe amount of time to leave an animal, or a child, in a closed car in hot weather. Pretend that dog is a baby. How long would you wait?
According to the story and her account of the incident the there is no way to know how long the dog was in the car. You can say about an hour at most, but there is no basis for a claim of 2-3 hours. Being dishonest and dramatizing events do not help the cause.
i dont think there is a time restrciton I would put on it. It would depend on the condition the dog appeared to be in, the tempreture, what store...was it a retail store or a quick mart? Things like that. I would call to alert authorities before bashing in a window.
I live in Ohio, and even though we have had a mild summer, I would wait for a while to see if anyone was coming to the car, if not, then call the police, and they do not respond, then I would do anything I could to rescue the animal.
Long enough to call 911. (4-5 seconds)
I live in England and our weather is not so hot but i would assess the situation if the animal looked over heated or distressed or in a dire situation i would get the animal out immediately. But if it looked liked it had time i would get the local animal rescue centre as they are very good at dealing with these situations but the RSPCA over here is absolute rubbish and will make you wait days for someone to come out! But unfortunately people over here seem to leave their babies and children in cars (well that's what's reported most) we don't hear so much of animals being left!
About 10 seconds, and put the owners in there with no air
it would be decided on how the dog was acting moving passed out no movement dogs actions would be factor deleware police arrest me what u gona do u cant keep killers or druggies in jail what a joke cops need a brain somethin they have lost a long time ago police used to be understanding taking everything into consideration now they are rude forceful and i would pull out my phone take pictures every 5 minutes as proof as to how long i waited and condition of animal then lettem arrest me then watch the news when i get out protect yourself shame when a good deed gets done like this then threatened n harassed by barney fife dont be afraid saving any life is worth it !!!
I live in Florida and I voted 1-5 minutes. My decision was based on the fact that there's no way of knowing how long the Dog has already been in the car. In the Florida heat, it only takes between 5-10 minutes for the inside of the car to reach a brain killing 135°. I would, naturally, check to see if any of the doors are unlocked before I bash in a window, but barring that, I won't apologize for rescuing any animal or child from the heat of a locked car in the Florida sun. Sue me, but be ready for an onslaught of publicity, because I’m going to make certain you we get it.
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