Letter writer: Think about dogs’ needs in hot weather

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I just got back from Trader Joe’s, and I am still shaking my head.

When I was walking from my car to the store, I passed an SUV, windows barely cracked, with a dog in it. I had just looked at my car’s temperature gauge, and it said 93 degrees. The dog was barking, and then it suddenly stopped.

According to the Humane Society, if it is 80 degrees outside, a car can heat up to 99 in 10 minutes. I had no idea how long the dog had been in the car. As far as I could tell, this was an emergency, so I called 911. I waited five minutes, then thought to ask someone else to call as well, so I asked an employee who was working outside. He said, “Oh, let’s not get the cops involved, I’ll just go make an announcement.” Then he went inside.

I waited some more, not sure what to do. Finally, a woman came, not from the store, but from the street and got in the car and drove away.

I don’t know if the Trader Joe’s employee made that announcement, but it would not have done any good, since the woman wasn’t in the store.

Please everyone, think about the needs of your dogs in this hot weather. You may feel the need to have them with you, but what is best for them? Are they really enjoying walking around that crowded tailgate market with all those strange people towering over them and strange dogs lunging at them? I see it every week.

Are you risking killing your dog by leaving it in a hot car? How will you feel if your dog either suffers irreparable organ damage or even dies from being left in a car that reaches 99 degrees or higher while you go get that beer or that watermelon? Will it be worth it just so you can feel awesome and cool because you have to have your dog with you?

I am a dog behavior counselor, so I speak from a professional viewpoint and not just as someone who did not know the full scope of the danger the dog was in.

— Joanne Ometz
Mindfulness For Dogs

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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Think about dogs’ needs in hot weather

  1. boatrocker

    Yea, tht dog owner is a jerk for obvious reasons.

    What’s your excuse for shopping at Trader Joe’s?

  2. Buni Southerland

    Hot vehicles are deadly. And for those who’s pets serve as leash candy….Sidewalks, pavement (asphalt! OUCH) and bare dirt burn toe pads. Take off your shoes. If you can’t go barefoot on the surface, neither should your dog. Leave ’em at home if you love ’em.

    • boatrocker

      For a quick response to animals left in a hot car, try this instead:

      Call your local Buncombe County GOP HQ and announce that a person of color is hiding in the car and is possession of a library card for securing books, has a college degree for thinking critically, has the first name of someone not a character on “Duck Dynasty” or “19 Kids and Counting” and has just leered at your white wife while fondling the 1st Amendment in a bathroom.

      For even quicker response time, mention ‘scaring off the tourists’, ‘driving down property values’, ‘hippity hop music’, ‘voter fraud’, ‘saggy britches’ or ‘ain’t speaking ‘Murican’.

      911 response will happen faster than a greased pig breaking the 4 minute mile at the state fair.

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