It was an all-too familiar summer scene: Temperatures were in the mid-90s Wednesday at about 2:30 p.m. and a dog was left in an enclosed, sun-drenched car.
Double Mountain Brewery patrons concerned about a dog in the car across the street phoned it in.
Citation in hand almost an hour later, the dog’s owner got hot under the collar, too.
The car was parked in the hot sun, and the small Shepherd mix was showing signs of heat distress; one vehicle window was left slightly open.
Folks thought relief was at hand when the dog’s owner, an out-of-town visitor, approached. He placed money in the parking meter and walked away.
So, the call was made to 911.
Rachel Cates, Hood River County Animal Control deputy, responded along with Hood River Police Officer Derek Fuss.
The car was unlocked, and they got the dog out and offered it water and Cates’ air-conditioned cab.
The dog did not initially drink the water Fuss provided, but Cates said that may be in response to the stress it felt.
City regulations state that no pet should be left unattended in conditions that might threaten its health.
After about 45 minutes, the owner returned and was cited.
“He was not happy we had removed his dog from his car,” Cates said.
“That’s a fairly typical response. People who leave their animals feel they’re not putting their dog in danger, and he was pretty upset. A lot of people don’t understand the danger, and this is no different,” she said.
Cates said instances of “hot dog” reports are down a little from last year.
“Last summer I responded to 10 or so a week. I’ve seen fewer this summer, though Hood River Police respond to some when I’m not on duty. It’s definitely happening.”
Basically, pet owners should leave pets home, in the shade and watered, in hot weather, and refrain from bringing their pets along for outings if they have to leave the animal unattended in the car for any length of time.