In August of 2020, one little dog nearly lost his life to the hot conditions that occur in a parked car. Luckily, one bystander had the equipment needed to break a window; now, the entire British social media community is lauding him as a hero.
The week of August 10th, 2020 was one of the hottest that the United Kingdom had experienced. The country hadn’t experienced a stretch of temperatures over 94 degrees that lasted this long since the famous heatwave of 1961.
On this hot day, the owners of a fluffy Yorkshire terrier decided to go for a short shopping trip. According to Daily Mail, they drove to Newbury Retail Park in Berkshire, England, with their tiny little dog in tow. Then, they left the dog inside the car with the windows rolled up while they conducted their business.
Maybe the owners thought that they would be back in just a minute, or maybe they thought that temperatures weren’t going to get that high. Either way, observers say that the dog was left abandoned in the car for a duration of over 45 minutes.
Samantha Heaver, a resident of Berkshire, recorded the dog panting and posted the video on social media. Her caption was aggressive but to the point: “To the d**khead owner of this car and dog owner you irresponsible t**t.”
A Legendary Man Decides to Take Action
The owners obviously weren’t checking social media, or they would have noticed the uproar that was happening around their vehicle. Instead, they continued their shopping trip, completely oblivious to what was going on.
The terrier continued to pant heavily as the sun rose and temperatures inside the car continued to increase. With no internal thermometer, it was impossible to tell what conditions the poor pup was being subjected to. Finally, one of the bystanders decided that he was done watching the little terrier suffer. He produced a heavy ax and used it to bash in the driver’s side window.
The glass immediately scattered everywhere across the parking lot and the inside of the car. Luckily, the little terrier was hiding in the back seat of the car, and he was unharmed by the flying shrapnel.
With the glass window out of the way, the man was able to unlock the driver’s side door and pull the dog from the car’s interior. The crowd burst into applause as the dog breathed in the fresh outdoor air.
Social Media Hails the Hero
Countless members of the British social media community praised the man for his daring and timely action to save the dog’s life. Temperatures inside a small car can rise incredibly quickly. If he had waited much longer, there’s a chance that the dog could have suffered major heat stroke or even death.
Plenty of netizens expressed the desire to buy the new local hero a drink. One Facebook user summed it all up in an explosive comment: “I so want to buy the bloke that smashed the window a pint!! What a legend! Thank [sic] god there’s still sensible people around.” Yet another user felt the need to comment on the dog’s owner’s negligence. “Well done to the guy who broke the window. Idiots don’t deserve a dog.”
A Statement from the RSPCA
In response to this incident, the RSPCA issued a statement about the incident on their website: “Dogs die in hot cars. A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.” Like most members of British society, the RSPCA is referring to temperatures in Celsius.
According to them, an outdoor temperature of 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit translates to an unbearable temperature of 116.6 degrees inside of a parked car. Based on this statement, it’s clear that dogs should never be left alone in a parked car for any duration of time. Heavy air conditioning might be a solution — but since it’s so easy for unmonitored pets to get into trouble, it doesn’t make sense to leave any puppy alone in a vehicle.