Safety First: Hot Weather = Danger for Dogs
I went to the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland with the Bangor Daily News last Friday. It was a hot day full of lots of fun. Even in a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, I was hot.
No doubt, for some, especially our furry friends, it was hotter. Bill and I took Laura with us on Saturday to the festival. However, we cut our stay short due to the heat.
I must say that the Maine Lobster Festival is the most dog-friendly festival I’ve been to in a long time. It’s a great sight to behold. However, what I encountered on my way back to the car on Friday wasn’t so great to behold.
In the cab of a dark blue Tacoma pickup, a poor black dog was panting for all they had in them. The windows were cracked a bit, but the truck was parked in hot, full sun. I couldn’t remember if Maine law said anyone could break into a vehicle if there’s a dog or a child in distress.
So, I did the next best thing, I reported it to the Brass Compass Restaurant, where the truck was parked. The hostess assured me she would see if they could find the owner. I should have stayed and I will next time. I truly hope the pooch inside the truck is okay.
If you encounter a situation like this, make a difference by doing the following:
- Take down a description of the vehicle (make, model, color), license plate.
- Write down a description of the animal in the vehicle. Consider taking a photo as evidence.
§ 4019. Removal from Unattended Motor Vehicle
Maine has a law on the books in regards to animals in parked cars. This law allows a law enforcement officer, humane agent, or animal control officer to take all steps reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if their safety, health, or well-being appears to be in immediate danger. In addition, they must leave written notice bearing the officer’s or agent’s name, office, and the address of the location where the owner may claim the animal.
Here’s what the law actually says:
1. Removal Authorized.
A law enforcement officer, humane agent, or animal control officer may take all steps reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if their safety, health, or well-being appears to be in immediate danger from heat, cold, or lack of adequate ventilation, and the conditions could reasonably cause extreme suffering or death.
2. Notice Required.
A law enforcement officer, humane agent, or animal control officer who removes an animal following subsection 1 shall, in a secure, conspicuous location on or within the vehicle, leave a written notice bearing the officer’s or agent’s name, office, and the address of the location where the owner may claim the animal. The owner may claim the animal only after payment of all charges accrued for the animal’s maintenance, care, medical treatment, and impoundment.
A law enforcement officer, humane agent, or animal control officer who removes an animal from a motor vehicle under subsection 1 is immune from criminal or civil liability that otherwise results from the removal. Here’s the verbiage in the Maine Law.
Be Smart & Don’t Be Selfish!
If the restaurant you want to go to is not dog-friendly, don’t bring your dog with you. It’s not cool! It’s not safe, and most of all, it’s not humane.