A New South Wales resident has described how locals leapt into action and smashed the window of a car parked at a local shopping centre to rescue a dog locked inside the vehicle on a 32 degree day.
The woman and her husband were shopping at JB Hi-Fi in Lake Macquarie when they caught an announcement being made over the speaker asking for the pet’s owner to return to their car.
“Obviously my husband and staff members were very upset to hear and quite angry, especially due to it being so hot, but didn't think it would take the owner so long to go back to their car,” she told Yahoo News Australia.
However, when the couple walked out to the carpark at Stockland Glendale half an hour later, a big group of people, including security guards, were standing around the car with the dog inside waiting for the police to arrive.
“We put our stuff in the car but couldn't leave as we felt sick with the thought of her still being in there in such heat,” the woman explained. “We asked the security guard what they were waiting for and why couldn't we just smash her out. Apparently when the police were called they were told they were not allowed to smash the window which was ridiculous as far as I was concerned.
“I sent my husband off to buy a hammer from the dollar shop around the corner but by the time he got back some other concerned local had already smashed their way in and got her out.
“It had been AT LEAST half an hour in 32 degree heat by then. The car was turned off and the windows weren’t cracked open even slightly. Goodness knows how hot it was in the car. A staff member from JBHIFI was waiting with a container and water for the puppy which she was very excited to have.”
The dog’s owner returns
Not long after the dog was freed, the woman said the owner finally appeared with what looked to be her two grandsons.
“I felt very sorry for the children as it would have been quite intimidating for them to walk out to a group of people surrounding their smashed up car, but that's the position this woman put all of them in,” she explained explained.
“She was in shock but tried to come up with excuses like: 'she's my rescue dog, this is my third rescue dog', to which I said: 'it looks like she needs to be rescued again'. She also claimed to have had the car on with air conditioning running, which was a lie. There were quite a few people questioning her but she didn't have much else to say.”
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, NSW Police said police were called, however, all parties involved had left prior to police attendance.
Should you smash the window of a car with a dog inside?
It can often feel like the best thing to do, especially on extra hot days and when you know that the pet’s been in the car for a long time.
However the RSPCA said it “would definitely not recommend people to smash windows on their own”.
“We wouldn't recommend people to break the glass because there could be all sorts of consequences of that, not just legally for the person that breaks it, but you could also injure yourself and you could injure the animal inside,” Kieran Watson from the RSPCA NSW told Yahoo News Australia.
“We would always say to contact the police or the RSPCA immediately via our report hotline and just give us all the information you can and we'll get there as soon as we can.”
He went on to explain that in New South Wales it is not illegal for someone to leave a dog in a car. “What is illegal is if that then causes suffering to an animal,” Watson explained.
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