On April 30, an area in Norfolk, Virginia, reached about 80 degrees in the afternoon, according to an Army veteran named Jason Minson.
That’s a reasonable summer temperature for many places in the U.S., but it can quickly become unreasonable — especially if you’re a black dog trapped in a parked car in the sun.
The black Labrador mix had been left inside a sedan along the street and the windows had been rolled down about an inch, but that wasn’t helping.
Minson, a dog owner himself, immediately noticed the pup’s distress. As soon as he realized the dog was suffering, he called the police, but they didn’t get there for a while.
As he waited for the proper authorities to arrive, he filmed the dog’s behavior. He and another person managed to give two full bottles of water to the black lab through the cracked window, and the dog guzzled it all.
Still, the dog kept seeking lower ground to find some small relief from the heat. Animal control arrived, but they weren’t moving fast enough for the veteran, who can be heard saying in the videos he posted that the dog was nearing death.
Minson smashed out one of the windows to the cheers of some bystanders, claiming as he did so that he’d take whatever penalty such an action would receive.
“I honestly didn’t think the dog would make it long enough for the fire department to get there,” he told WTKR.
“It’s cruelty, leaving a living being in conditions that hot is just cruel.”
He posted his videos on Facebook later, hoping that they’d serve as a reminder to dog owners everywhere.
“In Virginia you will get charged with 2 felonies. If you do it and I see it you’re going to get your window busted out AND 2 felonies.
“The officers in Norfolk were doing their jobs correctly and were trying to get the dog without causing property damage and were about to call the fire department for assistance, but I honestly didn’t think this pup was going to make it and my job wasn’t on the line because of policy. TAKE CARE OF YOU’RE FUR BABIES!!!”
The dog is being kept at the Norfolk Animal Care Center, and the owner has been charged with “Animal in Motor Vehicle.” Her hearing is on May 17 and will determine whether or not the dog will be returned to her.
Minson’s service dog is Rex, a Great Dane, and Minson told WTKR that he knows people are busy and forgetful but that if he ever forgot about his dog in a car, he hoped someone would do what he did.
“Everyone is always in a rush; rush here, rush there, pick up kids, get groceries and we forget,” he said. “I don’t know how you could, but some people forget. If I ever got out and went in the store and forgot about Rex, I would pray someone would knock my window out.”
“They depend on us to take care of them like a child would. If you’re going to be a dog owner, you have to step up to those responsibilities.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.