Police responded to a call last Saturday afternoon of a dog left in a car outside of Dearborn’s Chinese Restaurant.
The caller, a Dearborn resident, told police that there was a dog locked inside a car with the windows rolled up.
When police arrived, several people were outside the restaurant observing the scene–including the dog’s owner, who had come to let the 9-year-old female beagle out after the woman who called found him in the restaurant.
The man, a resident of Jackson, Mich., who was there with two other adults, told police that he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. He said he often left his dog in the car year-round while out and about, as she got upset if left home alone. According to the owner, she never had a problem with the weather.
But responding animal patrol officer Jennifer Janiga said in her report that the dog was visibly overheated in Saturday’s 91-degree, heat–panting, struggling to breathe and eager to drink the icy cold water brought out by Kowloon staff.
The vehicle, Janiga continued, was parked in full sunlight without air conditioning and with the window only barely cracked.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, leaving an animal in the car during warm weather is like leaving them in an oven–even for a short period of time.
"Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat," said Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA vice president of Veterinary Outreach, on the organization’s website. "Heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly."
Miller added that, "symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.”
The beagle in Saturday’s case in Dearborn was determined not to need immediate veterinary care, but her owner was still cited for animal neglect. He will be required to contact Dearborn’s within 14 days.
ASPCA offers a free PetWeather App for Android and iPhone that tells users how the weather that day will affect your pet–including the possibility for dangerous or uncomfortable situations.