May 21, 2019
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What to do (and not do) when you find dogs in cars this summer

Community Author: Bangor Police Department
Post Date:
Bangor Police Department | BDN
Bangor Police Department | BDN

Many people call, write, or indicate to me that they have an idea for the topic of an article (or post) on the world’s most marginally famous Bangor Police Department Facebook page.

I appreciate it more than you could ever imagine.

So, to put a check mark by a one of those ideas- here we go.

It’s hot out. It will remain hot. People believe that dogs in cars are always a bad idea, this is not always the case.

Go ahead and call the society to prevent TC from having a critter (STPTCFHAC), but I take my dog places, we travel. I will continue to do so.

Before you call us, or any agency, about a dog in a car please make sure there is an issue.

Some fur-parents run into a store with the windows adequately lowered to allow ventilation. Many people leave the air conditioning on, many people have had dogs for a very long time and understand that a dog CAN sit in a car on a warm day for a couple of minutes, WHEN that vehicle is ADEQUATELY VENTILATED AND/OR COOLED.

You are not the only person who loves dogs, but dogs need to get to the lake, the camp, the veterinarian, travel for an ice cream, for a grooming, to visit other dogs, to go to the dog park, or to just ride with their ears in the wind.

Dogs like to travel, most would drive themselves around in vans, loaded with other like-minded dogs, if they could. We would like to see more of this.

Maybe a petition drive could be initiated to allow dogs to drive themselves. I’d sign, probably because I think they could do better than many folks I have run into over the years.

If I need a pack of gum, or an ice cream for my dog, I do not annoy everyone in the store by bringing my dog inside to lick things which should not be licked, or sniff areas which do not desire to be sniffed. Therefore, the dog, with windows down, or the A/C on, will remain in the truck for 3-5 minutes.

If you want to camp out beside my vehicle to watch until I come back, feel free, but you do not have permission to bash out windows anytime you find a dog in a car- that is an Internet myth.

But don’t call the cops until there is clear and convincing evidence that the animal is not being cared for properly.

Many folks are running a very quick in-and-out errand and will return very quickly. Give them a chance before calling. Not everyone is a moron, so give them a chance to prove that they are good and responsible pet owners.

We do run into that a lot. Sometimes a dog has sat in a car for a minute or two when the calls suddenly start coming into the switchboard. We appreciate using common sense before demanding that law enforcement show up.

Listen for the engine running, see if the windows are down, note whether or not the vehicle is in the shade, sometimes people have to run a quick errand and plan for such. Some people even have water available for the dog who sits inside the car for a couple of minutes. You really should, BTW.

If these criteria are not being met, please do call us. We do have drive-by callers who just see a dog in a car and immediately call. Please don’t do that. We do get busy with all kinds of things on days like this.

If you are not a responsible dog owner, and cannot make sure that Skippy is going to be kept cool, wherever he is, please leave them home with the A/C on.

P.S.- Please call pay at least as much, preferably more, about incidents where children have been left in hot cars. I wish I didn’t have to even write this but we all know the horror stories.

Thanks for remaining vigilant about ALL living things.


BPD Duck of Justice is published in BDN Maine Weekly on Thursdays. This installment is for July 12.