Abusive Dog Owner – A Cautionary Story

Yesterday while out weekly shopping, we pulled into a parking lot next to a black Honda Civic. The owner and his son checked something in the back seat, then proceeded to the Walmart at Dartmouth Crossing.

Looking across, I could not believe my eyes. In the black Civic, on a hot sunny day, in August, with the windows opened about 1/4 inch was a beautiful young black lab (I’m not a dog person – but this was a quiet, well mannered youngster). She was already panting, likely overheating from the drive to the store.

This dog is trapped in a hot car by an idiot owner4
This dog is trapped in a hot car by an idiot owner


My wife went ballistic! She jumped out of the car, followed the ‘gentleman’, calling “excuse me, sir” two or three times before he turned around.  She called “you forgot your dog in the car” – he made a shooing motion, shook his head and kept going. My wife informed him that she was going to call the cops – he kept walking.

Frustratingly, there are no emergency numbers for the SPCA on the web. I was watching the dog, who was panting, and would have broken the car window if the dog started showing distress. While my wife finding a number, I got out of the car and took three photos of the car in question. I noticed the owner and his son were walking back to the car, so I got in, started up, and was starting to pull out when the owner notices my wife’s window is open, whereupon the individual threatens her by saying “you better be driving away”. She said, “what did you say??”. His response (threatening) “you better drive away” My wife yelled back “you are an idiot who shouldn’t be allowed to have a dog”. I parked, got out of the car and approached the gentleman asking what was the problem (I am not confrontational, but don’t threaten me or my wife…). I am wondering if this is all a show for his son.

He said his problem was with my wife (!) A real hero – he noticed my short hair and seemed to be relaxing. Stupidly, he said that he was going into Walmart ‘to get a leash and some water’ for the dog. Strangely he had neither of these items when he came out of the store. I think he saw from the Walmart that we were still beside his car watching the Lab, and decided to come back for a scrap.

Coincidentally, an off duty police officer across the parking lot heard my wife call the owner an idiot, and came over to investigate. He calmed the situation down very quickly, and forcefully told the owner that if he was going to leave a dog in the car, to leave all four windows open.

The officer informed my wife that the RCMP have received more than 300 phone calls about animals in distress this summer.

Dog in Hot Car (P1020662) 2

My wife saved that dog’s life. The owner had no intention of coming back out quickly.

Lesson learned for me, and upon the advice of the officer, if this happens to you, dial 911. A dog (or cat) will be dead in 5-15 minutes in a small black, airless car (25 Celsius).


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