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LETTER: When will people learn dogs and hot cars don’t mix?

Ten years ago, on a warm afternoon, my partner and I were returning from walking our late dog Freddie to Beacon Avenue when Freddie pulled us into a parking lot behind a restaurant and toward a dark SUV parked in full sun.

Reaching the vehicle, we heard whimpering and crying from inside. I looked in and saw a small white dog on the floor, in obvious heat distress. I ran to the restaurant, where the manager announced the licence plate number. Out of the air-conditioned interior emerged a woman making every excuse any of us who has been in this situation has heard numerous times: I didn’t know it was this hot. I was only meant to be away a few minutes, etc. When she opened the door, the car exhaled hot air. The restaurant supplied the water we gave to the revived dog.

I hoped this was the last time this would happen in Sidney, but today was an instant replay. Another dark SUV. Another dog sitting inside in full sun, windows rolled up, for at least 30 minutes. This time a couple with young children greeted me and the crowd that had gathered at the car, treating us with nonchalance and studied rudeness, laughing at me when I told them we’d called the police on seeing their panting elderly dog in the hot sun.

What are those kids learning from this type of ‘example’? Perhaps that their parents are people not to emulate? I certainly hope so. Meantime, I feel very sorry for the dog and for those children, and more grateful than ever that I had parents who taught me to respect and protect all life.

Grant Hayter-Menzies


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