A video shot by Will Costa is telling. A small dog was left in a hot car in Grand Bend, Southern Ontario, Canada, when a bystander took action and smashed a door window to free the dog from the confines of the hot car.
Costa was attending an event when an announcer implored the dog’s owners to get their dog out of their car, apparently to no avail. That’s when Costa went out to the parking lot to see what was going on, according to CTV News London.
When Costa arrived on the scene, he started recording an unidentified man throwing a large rock at the rear passenger side door window of the car. The rock, however, kept bouncing off the window. Finally the rock did its job and the man unlocked the passenger door. The man grabbed the dog, who he said was sweltering.
“The owners didn’t show up for another 50 minutes,” Costa told CTV News London. “I believe in another 50 minutes it could have been fatal.”
The temperature was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) when the bystander broke the window. The bystander believed it was at least 113 degrees Fahrenheit in the car (45 degrees Celsius), according to CTV News London. An outside temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit results in a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit in a closed car in just 10 minutes, according to the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University. In 20 minutes, the time that Costa estimates it took to free the dog, that temperature was probably around 114 degrees Fahrenheit.
The presumed owners finally arrived around the same time as the police, which asked the owners to come down to the station.
In Ontario, according to the Ontario SPCA Act, it is against the law to leave a pet unattended in a vehicle that endangers the animal’s health or safety.
In the United States, Florida, Tennessee and other states allow bystanders to break into cars to save animals in distress without legal repercussions from the dog owner. California has a similar bill pending.
The freed dog happily ran outside in circles while people looked on. Some unhappy words about the dog’s owners, however, were shared by the people.