VERMILION, Ohio – A good Samaritan records video of a Vermilion police officer rescuing a dog locked inside a parked hot car.
Deborah Parker, a retired nurse who also runs the Saint Francis Animal Sanctuary in Vermilion,called 911 after noticing the elderly dog inside the vehicle on July 1 outside of a grocery store.
“All four windows were up,” said Deborah, “And the dog was panting profusely with slobber coming out of his mouth.”
While Patrolman Leo Chandler attempted to open the door, the dog’s owner returned.
She claimed she was only in the store for about five minutes, but the officer said it only takes minutes for a dog to suffer and die in a hot vehicle.
According to PETA, hundreds suffer and lose their lives each year in parked cars.
Although the temperature that day was in the mid 70s K9 officer Scott Holmes said it would’ve felt significantly hotter inside the car, because closed windows act like a greenhouse and raise the temperature about 10 degrees every five minutes.
“It becomes like an oven,” said Sgt. Holmes, “You’re looking at dogs possibly dying and their organs shutting down.”
That’s why police K9 vehicles have multiple safety features and air conditioning units to protect the animal, but without those protections Sgt. Holmes said people should leave their animals at home.
The dog found that day was rescued in time and the owner was not charged with animal cruelty because they pet didn’t suffer any lasting effects or extreme distress and seemed okay once he was some given cool water.
Sgt. Holmes says, a new Ohio Senate Bill that takes effect at the end of August will also be an effect tool; allowing good Samaritans to break a cars window to save an animal or child from a hot car without liability, as long as the person first calls 911 and reports the situation to police.
They must also make sure the vehicle is unlocked and have a reasonable belief that the occupant is in danger. They must leave a note to inform the owner what has happened and take the occupant to law enforcement or other appropriate agency.