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Woman breaks car window to save dog from hot car

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | June 28, 2012 | Comments (19)

dog in hot car

When an Albuquerque woman came out and found her car window smashed in she told the stranger who did it "thanks".  Why? Because the woman saved her dog.

It was a hot day and Albuquerque was having a blistering heat wave. Susanne Jones was in a parking lot at a medic clinic and was watching a little dog in a locked car and growing concerned. The window was cracked open - but only a tiny bit. She watched as the dog yelped and pawed at the windows. She then saw him curl up on the floor, apparently exhausted and over-heated.

"The temperature was very hot, the car had to have been very hot," Susanne told KOB Eyewitness News 4 outside a Metro Court courtoom. "It was not sitting in the shade. She [the car owner] 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."

She asked another woman to call 911 for her and the woman did. She was transferred to the main city hotline at 311 and then connected through to the Animal Welfare Department who told her they would send someone.

Suzanne Jones smashed a car window to rescue a dogBut after waiting for 40 minutes, Suzanne could wait no longer, fearing the dog was dying. She took a "Club" locking device out of her car and smashed the rear window on the driver's side to let some air in for the suffering dog.

Police arrived soon after followed by an Animal Welfare officer. Then the dog's owner, Claire "Cissy" King came out of the doctors office. She told the judge at her hearing for her violation of city animal ordinances, she had been taking her 98-year-old mother to the doctor and hadn't realized her dog was in danger.

A police officer told Cissy she had broken the law by leaving her dog locked in the car, and then asked if she wanted to press charges against Susanne.

"The officer asked if I wanted to file a counter-complaint," said Cissy outside the courtroom. "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."

Under city ordinances, private citizens do not have the right to break a window or destroy someone else's property to rescue an animal. Only police and Animal Welfare officers have that right.

"She came over when everything was finished and thanked me for doing what I did," Susanne said of Cissy. "She asked if there was anything she could do to thank me and I said just please don't leave your dog in the car again."

The judge dismissed charges against Cissy, as long as she takes a pet safety class, which she plans to do right away.

View more articles in: Community News

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Comments on this Article

In CA I use to take my dog everywhere. He always stayed in the car with all the windows down. I never went into a store that I thought I would be in a long time. But one day I forgot he was in the car and was walking around the store. When I remembered I ran for the door. He was fine and laying on the floor. I should saw in S.CA I never took him in my car and left him there when it was really hot. I can nto leave the windows down with my girls (poodles) so they only get to go to pick up the kids at school. To pick up meds at the drive thru. We now live in AZ and the summers are HOT and the winters are just to cold sometimes. Yes we do get snow in Northern AZ. My girls don't get the car rides that Kona got when he was alive. Thank you for takign care if the dog and to the owner ty for not pressing charges for her breaking the window.
I think most people would break the window.. but I wanted to say about leaving the a/c on in the car with an animal inside.. I have seen it happen.. The car engine failed... the car got hot as the windows were all closed and it didnt take long for the dog to die.. NEVER, EVER LEAVE AN ANIMAL IN A CAR.. OR IN ANY CONTAINED SPACE IT CANNOT GET OUT OF. Bless the woman who noticed and did something to save this dog.....
I LOVE my dogs, but I don't take them out in the truck with me unless the trip is "doggy" based. Going to the park, the vet, the feed store (where they are welcome to come inside), or maybe trip to a drive through. Otherwise they're home in comfort while I go do what I have to do.
I leave my dog in the car with the ac running ,take an extra key ,feel sorry for them if they open the door any way, she bites
When are we going to learn that we can only rely on ourselves. We hire the police, the firemen, the EMS, first responders, but not to replace us; Only to assist us!
i would have done the same thing, here in minneapolis, mn, it takes the police 30 to 45min to respond to a call like that!!!!!!!! in the time it takes the police to respond the dog could die from a heat stroke..... dont care if the person who owns the car sues me or not, im going to help the poor defenseless dog!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Mr. Policeman, there's a dog in a car with the windows closed, The car is in the sun and it is blistering hot out here. Oh, that sound? It's nothing. Just me smashing the window so the dog can have some air.
some people create, some destroy... let's be thankful that at least on this day... susanne was one the latter... bravo!
Excellent post, Joel L.!!! The bottom line is what kind of effing moron leaves a living creature in a car with a heat wave going on and is gone for over an hour?????? I agree with everyone who says the state or the person rescuing the poor baby should take her dog away from her. And this is an older woman who is dressed nicely! You're telling me she hasn't the common sense (well I guess not) or the education or hasn't been in back of a bus recently and missed the ad that says not to leave babies or animals in their car??? I find this hard to believe. Idiots like this should be spoken to in the language that they understand - a big, fat, several thousand dollar fine and confiscation of their animals. Really. Unbelievable. Not to mention just cruel. Idiot.
A grown woman knows better than to leave a child or pet in a hot car. The only thing I can say nice, is she had the decency to own up to her mistake and file no charges against the woman for smashing the window. The cost of a window is minimal and insignificant. The value of one of Gods living creatures, the dog, is PRICELESS!
Grrr....kind of makes me mad that they didn't take the dog from the owner. One error in judgement such as this can result in a dead dog. I don't care if she is "sorry" and/or any excuse there was for leaving her dog in the car. The torturous hour that the dog spent in the car because of the owner's negligence deems her an "unfit" dog owner in my book.
Donna - I COMPLETELY AGREE with you!!!! That makes me so mad that it took them that long to get there. Had they been doing their job, she would have never had to break the dang window. I have broken into someone's car before (that I did not know) because of a puppy in there...in the heat. So, I know exactly where she was coming from and how she was feeling! I am thankful for people like her that take care of our four-legged babies!
She wouldn't have had to break the window if the Animal Control Officer or Police would have arrived in a timely manner...NOT almost an hour later. I'm glad she did it and others need to beware!!
I won't take my dog shopping during the heat of the day, I wait for night. If I am on my way to a trail with him and need something, I will park in the shade, leave all the windows half way down, put shades in the front windows, and I have ice water in a special non spill bowl for him. Then I set a timer on my watch, have to be in and out in minutes or I can't go in at all.
Well done lady for breaking the window. How many of us would have the guts to actually do that. We know we should but would we be brave enough to do it?
I'm sorry, but who hasn't gotten the message that you don't leave a dog in a parked car, unless it's under 50 degrees outside?!! It's on the news every year, and it's also common sense!! I can't tell you how many times I call the police every year, due to some idiot who has left their dog in a hot car. Fortunately, I haven't yet had to break a window, but I would if help didn't arrive quickly enough.
She did the right thing, no matter what the consequences with the law. When I was young and "VERY STUPID", I left my beloved dog in the car while I shopped. I thought I had to take her everywhere. I came out and she had torn away all the rubber around the windows, trying to escape. I wish someone had broken MY windows to let her breathe. She was fine and lived to be 17 years old but THAT WAS 35 YEARS AGO AND IT STILL HAUNTS ME TO THIS DAY!!! I hate to even admit this but if it saves even one animal, it's worth it.
they can sue me for the window if they want....of course, they would have to find me first, cuz I won't be standing around with a dog suffering from heat. I'll get the dog and go. The owner lost their right to the dog the moment they left it in the car under dangerous circumstances.
Well, against the law or not, if the windows are up and a dog is in danger, I'm sorry, that window is going to be broken. That's just the way it's going to be. I will call whatever authorities need to be called, but who knows how long the animal has already been in the car and subject to the extreme heat, every minute counts, especially in Florida where I live. The interior of the car can get to be upwards of 135-140° within a matter of minutes and the dog’s brain literally begins to cook within that time. People just need to do the right thing and that is to leave the dog at home. AND, Don't think you can leave the dog in the car with the A/C on and the motor running, we just had a poor guy have his dog stolen along with his SUV when he thought he was just going to be in and out. He was, but the truck and his much-loved dog Poochie were already gone.
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