Dog Blog

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Hot Dog Patrol strikes again!
Originally posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005, 01:59 AM

As the Mercury rises this summer, so do these incidents. Hot Dog video

Letter to a restaurateur:

I am a frequent patron of your restaurant, love the food, and usually enjoy my experiences there. While I was dining on the patio at your restaurant this afternoon, I noticed that a dog had been left shut up in a car in the parking lot. The temperature today was 90 degrees and the car, which was parked in the direct sun, was no doubt far hotter inside. The white Standard Poodle sitting in the back seat was panting and in obvious distress.

I immediately abandoned my lunch and went into the establishment to see if perhaps the owner was inside the restaurant. I first asked the manager to make an announcement about the dog, which he seemed reluctant to do. In the interest of urgency, I ended up making the announcement for him, asking if anyone had left a white poodle out in the car. Two girls admitted the dog was theirs. When I told them they needed to get the dog out of the car right away and why, they giggled and kept right on eating their lunch, despite the fact that their dog might have been dying out in the car.

I left the restaurant and tried to use my cell phone to call the fire department to come and rescue the dog from the car, which they would have, but my phone wasn’t working. I went back inside and asked your manager to make the call, which he refused to do. I feel that it was his duty to place that call, if not for the sake of preventing the death of an animal then for no other reason than to demonstrate to those silly girls, your employees, and others present in the restaurant that it is not acceptable behavior to leave an animal in the car to die while one finishes one’s lunch at leisure. In fact, it is animal abuse and is against the law. Extreme weather laws

I wonder if it had been a child suffocating in the car, instead of a dog, whether the response would have been as noncommittal from all concerned? By your manager’s blatant dismissal of my complaint, these girls felt entitled to verbally abuse me with profanity on your premises, which in turn caused a group of young men dining on the patio to do the same. I was willing to endure the abuse if it meant the dog was not being abused, but I don’t think I should have had to be subjected to that kind of behavior.

What people who thoughtlessly leave their pets closed up in cars on a hot day don’t realize is that dogs do not perspire as efficiently as humans do--dogs can sweat via tongue and paws only--and can overheat within 10 minutes and suffer brain damage and death in only 20 minutes as the temperature in the car soars. Try sitting in a 120-degree oven while wearing a fur coat! You probably wouldn’t last long, either.

I believe it is the responsibility for store personnel to take action when something like this occurs and is reported by a patron or anyone who is concerned about the welfare of the animal. The Albertson’s Store in the same shopping center has taken a far more proactive approach to similar situations. If there is no parking lot security personnel provided to keep on the lookout for problems that might occur on the property, at least showing concern at such times is the best way for businesses to educate people about the danger to their pets and that it is kinder to leave pets at home on a hot day.

I hope that you will encourage your managers and employees to call for assistance or do something, anything, the next time someone reports that a dog, or a child, has been left abandoned in a hot car.


Sue Owens Wright


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