Letter writer: Use discretion about dogs in cars

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I applaud Joanne Ometz’s letter in the June 22 Xpress [“Think About Dogs’ Needs in Hot Weather”]. There can be great danger for dogs left in cars in the summer, especially if the car is not in the shade and if there is not adequate ventilation.

However, not every dog left in a car constitutes an emergency. I urge readers to use some discretion and not revert to a knee-jerk reaction of calling Animal Control every time they see a dog in a car. Many people understand that their dog’s quality of life is enhanced by bringing their dog with them.

DNA analysis has shown that all modern dogs are descended from the gray wolf. Dogs need exercise and travel and social interactions with other dogs every day, and solitary confinement is as harmful to them as it is to humans. Most dog owners bring their dogs not because of their need to have the dog with them, but because of the dog’s need and very eager desire to come and not be abandoned at home.

Furthermore, my personal experience with Asheville’s animal control department has made me feel that it is a predatory revenue operation, obsessed with writing tickets whether there is any real problem for the dog or not. You may be doing a disservice to the dog if it is not in any real stress and your call to Animal Control discourages the owner from bringing her dog along.

I welcome comments from readers at 242-6073.

— Rusty Sivils


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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Use discretion about dogs in cars

  1. The Real World

    Yes, Rusty — I agree with you. Let me add a couple of bits and will reference my own dog.
    1 – It’s surprising how many people don’t know that a dog perspires primarily by mouth (they do not have sweat glands the way humans do). So, just because a dog is panting does not mean it is in danger.
    2 – My own dog has very short hair; barely a 1/4 of an inch. So she cools faster than a heavy-coated dog.
    3 – I recently had the car AC on, nice and cool, before stopping and leaving her in the car for less than 10 minutes while I ran into the grocery. Two windows were opened a couple of inches each and she has a water bowl in the car. It was a sunny day.

    She handles that arrangement very well; no problem. If she had a thick coat, was overweight or had a sensitive health condition, I wouldn’t do it. So, not all of these scenarios are created equal and some sense and consideration need to be employed by passersby.

  2. dingman

    I take my german shepherd dog everywhere. I run mobile diesel service in las vegas when’s it’s hot (for us it’s anything over 80 degrees, I hate the heat) I will leave the truck running and the a/c on high. I go into store to by parts somtimes it takes 15 to 20 minutes but the truck stays cool even when’s it’s over 100 degrees outside. I wouldnever leave her without a/c or water tho. She hates staying home and loves to go on drives the longer the better for her and faster she loves to go fast. And also would miserable at home and she is also a macotof sorts

  3. PoochSmooch

    Too many passive-aggressive justice warriors out there when it comes to other people’s dogs. Before you thumb away at Brother’s Wolf’s phone number or jot down some passive aggressive note to jam between the window & wiper, come and either find the owner first or take good heart in knowing the dog is fine. We’re the ones raising them, not you.

  4. T

    I agree, people jump to conclusions immediately. My buddy comes with me everywhere, even to work. Sometimes I have to run into the grocery store for literally 2 minutes, windows down with water, or car running with A/C on. I can see calling if its 45 minutes in the 90 degree weather. I can ensure you my dog is in no danger if I have to grab lunch from Ingles. People need to chill sometimes. Usually the dog is with the person because they love them, otherwise they would be stuck out in the yard.

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