Timothy Moore
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Kettering Pet Guardian Charged for Leaving Dog in Hot Car

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Yet another instance of a dog being left in a hot car has been reported, only this time, it was here in my hometown and the headquarters for The News Wheel. Luckily, the dog was rescued thanks to a concerned citizen and a responsive police force, and the man responsible is being charged.

Kettering Pet Guardian Charged for Leaving Dog in Hot Car

Dogs should never be left alone in cars, particularly on hot days

According to reports, an unidentified 45-year-old man from Kettering, Ohio, left his dog (whose name and breed are as of yet also unidentified) in a parked car in a Centerville Kroger parking lot last Friday, which was a particularly hot day here in the Dayton area. A passerby noticed the helpless dog inside the car and, after searching for the dog’s guardian and seeing him nowhere, called the police.

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I cannot stress how important this is to everyone who sees a dog locked inside a car on even a moderately warm day. It doesn’t matter if the windows are cracked, it doesn’t matter if the dog doesn’t look particularly distressed at the moment—call the police. It’s not an overreaction; heat exhaustion can overtake a dog very quickly, as temperatures inside a car on a day in the 70s can quickly grow to 100 degrees or more. Just ask Tyrann Mathieu. Do your best to locate the dog’s (or cat’s, or other animal’s) guardian, but if you cannot find said guardian, call the police, and fast.

In this instance, the police arrived before the dog’s guardian ever returned. The dog was rescued and immediately moved into the police cruiser with the air running high to keep the dog cool. When the owner eventually returned, he told the police he didn’t realize he had been gone that long—but it had already been 15 minutes from when the citizen found the dog, and there was no telling how long the dog had been in the car before that.

Related: See what Jennifer Beals has to say about leaving her dog in a hot car

Kettering Pet Guardian Charged for Leaving Dog in Hot Car

Dogs can quickly suffer from heat exhaustion and die from complications

The pet guardian received a summons to Kettering Municipal Court, where he will face a misdemeanor charge. The dog was, however, returned to the owner.

I must say, over the last couple months, I have been quite proud to live in the state of Ohio as a pet parent and animal rights proponent myself. Not only is the law taking this issue seriously—and in some ways granting animals more of a personhood status than a property status—but we’re even seeing great strides from police units, like the Gulf Shores Police Department in Twinsburg, Ohio, in terms of protecting service dogs.

As humans who don’t own the earth, but share it with other animals, and share our own homes with some of them, we need to make it a priority to treat all species with respect and dignity. I’m not asking you to be a vegetarian or let all of the bugs live inside your house, of course. But I am asking that you consider the way your meat was raised before eating it, that you try to move the spider onto your back porch rather than squash her with a tissue, and that you think of your dogs, cats, birds, and even your fish as family, not property. Their quality of life matters just as much as ours.

Innovative Solution? Check out IKEA’s answer to dogs in hot cars

  • Timothy MooreManaging Editor

    Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.