About 20 minutes after recording the video of an update to this post – in which I captured, for the second time in four days, a big Golden Retriever trapped in the same, hot car – I began hearing two smaller dogs barking/yelping from the adjoining parking lot. I’d listened to this for at least ten minutes, as I was writing up the blog on the other incident, then decided to go investigate.
This video documents what I found.
I called the police, again (non-emergency line), to advise them of these dogs’ condition, and my contention that if they were left there for much longer, they would begin to be at risk of heatstroke. My contention was based on the fact that at the time this video was recorded, at about 11:30am, the outside temperature in Charlottesville was about 75 degrees – meaning that as those dogs had been in that car for at least ten minutes, according to scientific research, the interior temperature had risen to at least 94 degrees. In another ten minutes, the interior temperature would have risen to at least 104 degrees.
About five minutes later I happened to see a man walking in the general direction of this car. I asked someone to watch my computer, and walked to the parking lot to follow him, and sure enough, it was the owner of the dogs. After he opened the door, I politely (but frustratedly, given what happened fifteen minutes earlier) asked him if was aware of how dangerous it is to leave dogs in such conditions. He politely said he was, but that he was only gone for five or six minutes. I said that that is absolutely not true, that I’d heard them barking for at least ten minutes, which is what prompted me to try to find them, and check on them. It was at least five minutes after that that he came out.
He acknowledged that he’d been gone longer than he said, and asked if I would like him to take his dogs out and get them in the shade. I said no, that he should open all the car’s windows, turn the AC on full blast and get his dogs into a cool environment, and give them cool water, as fast as possible.
He agreed to do so, apologized for having done this, and drove away.