Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The SPCA and Me.

Today I pulled into the parkade and scored a spot on the first level. I'm always happy with this because this is where the security guards/booth operators are so I feel a bit safer. As I'm sitting there with the car turned off and the door open a bit attempting to call my mother (for like the ninth time today), I happen to look at the car right next to me on the left. It's an older style Crown Victoria, red, and has a sun shade on it. Weird I thought since we're covered in the parkade. Then I see it. He popped his head up. This little tiny white dog. And he's panting like hell.

Startled, I looked at the thermometer on my car which was now slightly cooled. It still read 29C as opposed to the 31C it was outside in the sun. It's still very hot. I get out and look into the car where the little dog is staggering back and forth looking not so well.

Luckily I had a piece of paper and wrote the license plate down as well as a description of the vehicle. I then went into work and asked who I call about this. I was told to go to security, maybe they could page the owners of the vehicle. So I go down to security and they direct me to Information. Information directs me to the little phone which connects me to the switchboard who tells me they do not do over head pages unless it's a stat; such as a code or whatever.

I go back to the office and get the number for the SPCA. Down into the parkade I go where I call them. Only to find out I've got the wrong one, they direct me to the other one who tells me I have to call the animal shelter in my town so I do and it's busy. I wait, and call again. Busy. It took about 15 minutes to get through and I tell them what's going on. The dog looks okay, he's a little unsteady on his feet, panting like hell, tail between his legs. They say someone's on their way.

Finally get ahold of mom. Tell her what's going on. SPCA calls back so have to take the call. They tell me they can't send someone over unless the dog is in serious distress and it sounds like it isn't. I tell them I don't know how long he's been there nor how long he will be there. For all I know the owners might not show until visiting hours are over in 5 hours. They said to check on the dog in an hour and call back if he's gone downhill. They take the license plate number and will track the owners down and talk to them.

Call mom back, then have to get off the phone because the guy that owns the dog shows up. I asked if it was his dog, it was. I ask how long he's been here. He says half an hour. It's now ten to 4 and I've been worried about the poor thing since ten to 3; more than half an hour. I tell him this, he tells me that he can show his ticket I said no. He picks the dog up and he is okay. Then I tell him that I had to call the SPCA because I was worried.

And he got mad! He goes "Well, thanks a lot". You know what? You're welcome. I told him - look your dog was acting strange, it's hotter than hell in the parkade and I'm sweating down my back just standing here I can't imagine how hot it is inside your car. I was worried for your dog, I have a small dog of my own. I didn't know how long you have been here or how long you'd be. I did what I thought was best for the dog. I'm sorry that I had to call police but you really should not be bringing your dog with you if you can't take him inside where you are going. It's too hot for them to be in this heat; even if not in direct sun.

The guy says the dog is on valium because his "mommy" (i.e. the owner's wife) is in the hospital and the dog's been edgy. And he's deaf (the dog) so he get's scared and that's why he was shaking.

But I just couldn't believe he was mad. I thought I was doing the right thing. How do I know that he was going to show up soon? How was I supposed to know the dog is drugged and so a little loopy?

I told him I was very glad his dog was okay, that the SPCA will probably just call him and talk. Nothing was going to be done, they weren't sending someone over to take the dog away. He seemed to be a little calmed by that but was still mad I called them.

Am I wrong? Should I have just left it? My conscience says no. But I just don't know now.

I thought I was doing what was right. I saw a dog in a locked car. It's hotter than hell out even in the parkade. I don't know how long the dog has been there nor how long he will be there. Should I have just left it?


Anonymous said...

Absolutely not! I have two dogs and would never think of leaving them in the car, even with the top down.

In my state the police and animal control come out, animal control takes the animal and the police arrest the owner for cruelty to animals.

It all depends on the owners attitude when the police arrive some are just warned or written a ticket, others go to jail.

I call every time I see an animal locked in a car. Once, when I lived the desert, in the middle of summer 115+ the police dispatcher wanted me to break the window. Needless to say as much as I wanted to I just couldn't do it.

You did the right thing. Most people don't realize that an animals body temperature is higher than a humans. Dogs for example clock in at 102, imagine how much hotter they become during high heat.

Dean Moyer said...

Sounds like you did the right thing. Better to be safe than sorry. The owner should have been grateful that you tried to help his dog.

GoogleforMT said...

You did the best. Alas! if only dogs could speak that owner would have known.