Stupidity of leaving dogs in hot cars should have big price

“Let me give you a piece of advice,” I said to my son, 19 and completely uninterested in the old-man pontification

“Let me give you a piece of advice,” I said to my son, 19 and completely uninterested in the old-man pontification about to come his way for the 447th time. “People are stupid.”

“Mmm-hmm,” came the grunted reply, as he put in his headphones to avoid the rest of the diatribe.

“Are you even listening?”

“Mmm-hmm. People are stupid. Got it.”

“That’s right,” I continued, basically to myself at this point, as we pulled away from the grocery store parking lot on a scorching early-June day.

Now, of course I don’t believe everyone is stupid. Far from it. But it’s just there are so many stupid things happening all around us, on such a routine basis, it’s often an easy starting point.

In this case, I had noticed a car beside us, windows rolled up, and with a tiny dog inside — roasting.

Luckily, its dimwitted owner came out before I got a chance to knock out the window with a baseball bat to free Fifi from her personal Easy-Bake Oven.

“You could have rolled down a window,” I said to the woman, fumbling in her purse to find the key fob.

“Oh, I had the air conditioning on all the way here, and I just ran in to get a lottery ticket,” she responded.

Well, there’s no arguing with genius like that, so I just shook my head and watched her drive away.

What is wrong with people?

First, who brings their dog with them anywhere when it’s 500 degrees outside?

We once had a 125-pound mushbag of a pooch who hated to be alone. If we left him in the yard, he would chew through, or dig under, any type of fence you could put up. If you left him inside, he would ruin blinds, carve his way through walls, jump out second-storey windows and bite metal doorknobs down to the nub, trying to get loose.

He was OK in the truck, somehow knowing you were coming back. But I would have rather had him ruin an entire house before I let him overheat, even for a short time, in the vehicle on a hot day.

(The solution to his angst and wanderlust, by the way, was to get him another 125-pound canine playmate).

Most distressing to me in the case of the woman we ran into was the fact she chose not to put down a window. Didn’t forget… chose not to. That’s an extra level of stupid right there.

We hear about these type of incidents far too often.

Just last week, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP arrived just in time to save the lives of a pair of dogs left in a hot car (the temperature outside was 30 C). Even though the windows were down six inches, the dogs were in obvious distress. One of the dogs was near death, and sustained irreparable damage.

That type of stuff makes me sour.

They (who are ‘they’ by the way?) say you can’t legislate against stupidity. I say sure you can. The penalties for leaving an animal to slowly roast inside a vehicle should be enormous, financially and otherwise. Big fines, plus make them scrape up poop at the dog park every day for a month, or something equally fun.

If you’re stupid enough to endanger an animal, there should be a hefty price to pay.

Philip Wolf is a regional editor for Black Press. He can be reached at philip.wolf@black press.ca

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