I am already starting to see the comments on Facebook about busting windows out of cars to free dogs who are “suffering” in the heat. While I appreciate the fact that so many people care about the safety of animals AND I appreciate that not all owners consider their dogs family and take good care of them, I hope you will consider some things before you make a choice to “help” the animal.
1. Not all dogs are friendly!!! Let me say that one again… Not all dogs are friendly. You may NOT be helping the dog at all. If you are too close to my vehicle, one or both of our dogs will be barking. YOU are stressing the dog out, not the heat. At the very least, you’re not helping. Plus, if the vehicle was shut up tight and you stressed the dog, that would make the situation SO much worse. The author of this article is correct… A dog near death is not going to be barking its head off.
2. Some dogs are AFRAID of people. Letting a dog that is afraid of people free creates a serious danger to anyone that then tries to approach the dog to help or secure him. That dog could injure someone or be injured trying to escape the situation further. You could be the cause of a dog being euthanized when (s)he bites someone.
Personally, I have trained with my dogs in public places on days in the 50’s. I’ve parked at community parks and swapped my dogs out while working with each individually. #1 has happened to me before. A couple passed very closely by my car which was within 20 feet of me. My dog was seriously stressed by the proximity and began barking. The people continued to stare at him and even got very close peering inside. PEOPLE, dogs don’t want you in their faces!! Staring is antagonistic to even mild-mannered, stranger-friendly dogs (don’t even get me started on hugging them)… I’m putting it kindly when I say they were asked to move on.
Our dogs have water available while we travel, and we often use Ryobi fans to help circulate air for them. Our personal preference is to leave our windows down and/or hatch open if we are nearby because our dogs are always secured. A second option if I’m traveling with them and need to run an errand is to leave my car running.
All I’m asking is that you use good judgement. Visit the management of the store/location where the car is if you are so inclined, but please don’t attempt to release a dog without fully thinking about the consequences…
The original article that inspired my sharing (after the many bust out the windows posts last week) can be found here.