Monday, July 14, 2008

Pets Need Special Attention During Dog Days of Summer

This is an excellent write up in today's Guardian!

I cannot fathom, for the life of me, why people insist on taking their pets in the car with them when they intend to visit non-friendly pet stores or places where animals are not allowed. LEAVE THEM SAFELY AT HOME!! Not in a hot vehicle! So far this year, I have lost count of the number of animals I have seen left in cars this summer. One such incident happened on a very warm day in May at the Charlottetown Mall. It was the first Sunday the stores were allowed to open - my sister and I were heading into the Mall at 1:30 p.m., when I noticed a gorgeous boxer, in a white van - with a window barely open a crack (and I mean not big enough for me to get my hand in). This poor animal was in distress - it was panting like crazy.

We go into the Mall and I start inquiring where I could locate Mall Security - and much to my shock and dismay - I was informed by an employee of one of the kiosks - Mall security didn't come in til 4:00 p.m.! What? The Mall opens at noon - and there is no security in the mall - at all? Nada. The Mall Office was closed as well - so putting an announcement on the Mall PA system was futile!

I then called Charlottetown City Police - who forwarded my call to the PEI Humane Society Answering Service. The lady on the other end stated there is Mall Security in the mall 24 hrs/day and they (security) had been informed of the boxer in distress & were out at the vehicle at that very moment. I thanked her and headed back out to the van. Imagine my displeasure to discover no mall security in sight (remember? - they don't come in til 4:00 p.m. on Sunday!!) I went back inside and located the Mall Maintenance man (who, was an avid animal lover - having a dog of his own) and he concurred there were no Mall Security on site.

I asked him to call City Police again (thinking he may have a bit more creedance and he could verify there was no security available). Thankfully, they sent a wonderful police officer, who ran the license plates on the van - called the owner at home and spoke to a woman (the owner's wife) to find out where her husband was in the Mall and informed her their dog was locked in the van and in distress! Suppposedly the guy was only going to Zellers to grab something quick (which, btw - it is now 3:00 p.m. -an hour and a half from when I first sighted the dog!!). The wife was mad as hell - and rightfully so!

The officer said he would give the owner 15 minutes to come out of the mall, otherwise he was going to call the towing company and have them break into the van and seize the dog. I told the officer I wanted a "crack at the guy" - but he said I would have to stand in line "the guy's wife wants him fist".

I left the officer to go back into the Mall and asked that he contact me regarding the outcome. No sooner had I gone back in, when the owner came out! He tried to flub that he had only been in the mall for 15 minutes - but both the officer and the Maintance Man set him straight! The officer gave him a good lecture on the dangers of leaving his dog in a hot vehicle. The dog was let out and given water to cool down.

Thankfully, the dog was okay. But I was furious and panicked as hell to find anyone to help this poor dog. I contacted the director of the Humane Society the next day -the answering service regarding Mall Security has their facts wrong! There was no 24 hour on site security!

Then I discovered even if the Animal Control officers had been called to the Mall - they don't have the authority to break into vehicles and retrieve animals in distress! They have to call City Police - who in turn call the towing company to come pop open the vehicle doors!

What a merry-go-found! So, folks - do your fur friends a favour - leave them home!!

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