Dogs Locked in Downtown Parking Garage

“It can only take a few minutes for a dog locked inside a car on a hot day to face serious brain damage or even death from heat stroke or suffocation. On an 80 degree day, even with windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and 120 in half an hour. If you see a dog locked in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. “- John Baird, Chief Animal Control Officer

Today, at approximately 5:00 am, animal control was notified by security at the Reserve Square parking garage that two dogs were locked in a car. The ACO (animal control officer) on duty responded and reported at 5:20 a.m. that there were two dogs in a car with California license plates. The parking staff was able to inform the ACO that the car arrived at 11:27 a.m. the previous day. The ACO further reported that the windows were partially open and that the dogs did not appear to be in any distress. The ACO did not see any visible water for the dogs in the car; however, there was water in buckets located outside of the car.

ACO john_0

Chief Animal Control Officer John Baird instructed the ACO to inform the parking staff / security that another ACO will respond at 7:30 a.m. to re-check the situation. Chief Baird instructed the second ACO to remove the dogs if he did not see any water for the dogs. That would be approximately 8 hours without being afforded access to water. The dogs were removed at 8:15 a.m. and were transported to the City kennel. A notice was posted on the vehicle upon the first response and a notice was posted that the dogs were removed.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., Chief Baird reported that custody of the two dogs had been transferred back to the respective owners. The owners claim that they were traveling back to California and they had arrived in the parking garage yesterday around 11:30 a.m. They further claim that the dogs were checked on and walked periodically throughout the day and that they had given notice to parking lot security and staff. Upon the owners’ arrival at the kennel, Chief Baird obtained personal identification and advised them on the dangers of leaving dogs in a motor vehicle and stated that next time the City would not be so accommodating.

If you see an animal locked inside a vehicle on a hot day, then take the following actions:

  • If you see something, say something. If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. Do not leave until help has arrived.
  • Try to find the car’s owner. If you are out and you see a dog locked in a car, tell the nearby store manager immediately.
  • And remember, no matter how much your dog loves to go along when you run errands, don’t take a chance. Leave the animal at home where it is safe.