Posted on July 29, 2012
Hendersonville, North Carolina- You Rock!
I’m so proud of my new hometown, Hendersonville, North Carolina. Today’s local newspaper, the Times-News featured an important and educational front page story documenting a dangerous scenario that is, unfortunately, all too common this time of year. In Bella the Boxer’s case, tragedy was averted thanks to a heads up good Samaritan and an on-the-ball police officer. Here’s how the story goes:
Police rescued a dog Thursday afternoon that was left in a locked vehicle at the mall, as temperatures soared to about 90 degrees outside and more than 100 degrees inside the truck.
A man from Athens, Ala. was charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
The one-year-old Boxer, named Bella, was locked for about an hour in a Chevy Silverado truck, with the windows only slightly cracked, in the parking lot of the Blue Ridge Mall Thursday, police said.
A woman noticed the dog on her way into the building, according to police. After leaving the mall a half-hour later, she noticed the dog was still in the truck and called the police.
Lt. Mike Vesely of the Hendersonville Police Department arrived and had announcements made in the mall for the owner to return to the truck. When the owner did not return, Vesely used the website mydogiscool.com to determine the temperature in the truck, which was estimated to be 115 degrees, and noticed the dog was starting to foam at the mouth.
Police used an unlocking device to get into the truck and removed the dog, putting her in an air-conditioned police vehicle with water.
The owner was charged when he returned to his vehicle. The dog was returned to him.
“This may be our third call for a dog in a car this summer,” Vesely said. “This is the only one that was extreme enough that someone has been charged and that we have had to rescue the dog.”
Vesely said the website he used is a great reference for residents to use to determine just how hot a car can get. The website quickly tells the user what the temperature could be by how hot it is outside.
“If it’s hot enough for a human to be uncomfortable in a car without the air conditioning on, it is hot enough for a dog to be uncomfortable and possibly in danger,” Vesely said.
Hats off to everyone involved in saving Bella’s life and kudos to the Hendersonville Times-News for placing this story front and center, where it belongs. What a fantastic way to educate the public!
An episode of heatstroke almost always ends tragically, not only for the animal, but for the individual who, through their own ignorance, has caused horrific suffering for their pet. To learn more about heatstroke prevention, I encourage you to read “A Summertime Reminder.”
Please don’t take “dog days of summer” literally. As much as you enjoy your best buddy’s company, when temperatures are soaring, your dog is best served by staying home.
Have you ever been the good Samaritan who has happened upon an animal left in a car on a hot day? How did you respond?
A reminder that until the end of July all proceeds from sales of Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health will be donated to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region to help pay for the care of animals displaced by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs. When you purchase a book, your name (but not your contact information) will be added to the list of donors.
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.