How much pain and suffering do they award for eating fish and chips while leaving your dog locked in a hot car?


I met up with the police on a Saturday night.

Was I a drunken fool, stumbling around “downtown” Bridgewater with a brown baggie of liquor? Did I lift a roast from the grocery store?

Actually, it was more a case of finding a puppy in a hot locked car.

I know of animal lovers who carry things in their car (e.g. bats) in case they need to break windows to rescue animals. I like this approach, but I’m pretty wimpy, so I know I could never smash a window—nor do I have the upper body strength to do anything more than ding the glass.

Thankfully, someone else did the calling of the police; I probably would’ve watched the dog until the owners came back, then gave them the stink eye.

I can give a mean stink eye.

Somewhere there was a little miscommunication and two police cruisers arrived with four ossifers. I thought it was a little much for a dog in a car, but appreciated the seriousness of it.

Turns out they thought a person was in the car. So one car left.

The officers checked out the pup and he wasn’t convulsing yet (or frothing at the mouth) so they didn’t break the windows of the Mercedes.

Oh, did I mention it was a brand new Mercedes? With plates from the Southern United States?

Even though we had tried to find the owners in a local restaurant, it took another look for the owners to come ambling out after eating a meal while their dog overheated in their luxury car.

As you might expect, the owner was none too happy.

For one, people think it’s okay to leave the dog in the car when it’s 25 degrees Celsius out and humid as the dickens.

Two, they think they’re rock stars for having left the windows down a couple of inches.


If you wonder why I’m frustrated, it’s because most people agree that when it’s hot out, it’s not okay to leave your pet in the car for any amount of time. Even with the windows cracked.

Sit inside your car for awhile and see how it feels. Not nice. This evening I was sitting in my car with the windows down completely and it was still 25 degrees. I had to keep drinking iced water to stay cool.

The dog had nothing.

It was panting and licking its lips. I do that when I’m hot (even the panting). If I was stuck in a car, I’d be pawing at the windows too. It had even stopped barking, which is never a good sign in an ankle biter because you know they looooove to bark.

Needless to say, the owner was NOT happy to find the police by his car. (They never are, FYI, if you happen to call on behalf of a pup or cat.)

In fact, he threatened to sue.

Did I mention the owner was American?

I’ll let you know when I get the summons to appear in court. I’m sure they award lots of money for pain and suffering to owners who lock their animals in their car while they eat fish and chips.

At least the owner got a warning out of it.

The moral of this story is: you can’t expect medals when you stand up for animals. But you can call the police and have them assess the situation. And depending on the owners, this is probably the safest bet in case they have their lawyers on speed dial (and if they drive a Mercedes and live in the United States, this is a strong possibility).

I would just like to note I have NEVER left my animals in the car on a hot day. And I used to travel with gerbils, who were desert animals.

Below is your daily dose of cuteness: my gerbils Oscar and Willis, who, although they have gone on to Rainbow Bridge (not because they were left in a hot parked car), still warm the cockles of my heart.

Yes, my apartment was so cruddy, I took them home with me on weekends and vacations. I was pretty sure my apartment would spontaneously combust at any time thanks to its many building code violations and the questionable tenants who threw cigarette butts into leaves outside.

This was the gerbils’ travel cage, not their regular cage—otherwise I’d be quite the hypocrite, talking of animal abuse.

I even put the seatbelt around the cage so they wouldn’t go flying if I had to stop suddenly. They also got a toilet paper roll for their chewing amusement.

You’re welcome for your daily dose of cuteness.

You’re welcome.

This is Willis and Oscar; or Oscar and Willis. I can’t quite tell from this picture because they looked 95% alike until you got up close.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hannah says:

    Good for you calling the cops. What a couple of tools. Why why WHY would you bring your dog on a driving vacation during the hottest part of the summer? Or maybe they were the stereotypical “ugly Americans” and figured we’d all be skiing this time of year.

    And then doubling down on the stupid by threatening to sue? AWESOME.

  2. Julie says:

    The best part was when the man put his companion (wife, sister, whatever) into the hot car while he argued with the police. I would’ve turned the A/C on for her and the dog, but that’s just me…

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