My online bat mitzvah student was pulling up to Walmart with her mother on a very hot day – 94 degrees Fahrenheit. My student and her mother were sipping a cold Coke with ice and both were dressed for summer. They parked the car and were walking to the Walmart entrance, when my student heard this whimpering and crying – it was a dog trapped in a hot car with no owner present and the window barely open. How cruel and horrible my student thought! Who could treat their pet this way ???!! My student and her mother quickly ran inside the Walmart, found the first employee they could and asked her to make an announcement over the loudspeaker demanding that the owner of the car with license plate /g6*%$ quickly get to your car and let your dog out !
Sure enough, the owner embarrassedly ran to his car to free his pet dog.
Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly become hotter than the temperature outside even if windows are left slightly open. Pets can be put at risk of serious illness and possibly death due to heat exposure as a result of being left in a vehicle. If pets cannot leave the car and go with their owners, then leave them at home where they will be safe, cool, and comfortable.
“Animal owners have a responsibility to provide the proper care for their pets. Leaving a pet unattended in a hot car is irresponsible and can put an animal’s life in danger,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “It is important that we take the necessary precautions to protect our pets from the heat. I am proud that Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a full provincial animal welfare enforcement system to enhance animal safety and ensure strong penalties for those who commit acts of animal cruelty.”
The Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act came into effect January 1, 2020 and allows police, First Nations constables and provincial animal welfare inspectors to enter motor vehicles to help pets in distress. The legislation also has the strongest penalties in the country for people who violate animal welfare laws, including causing distress to an animal.
If an individual sees an animal in a hot car in distress and is concerned the animal’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately as this is an emergency. Members of the public should not attempt to enter a vehicle in these situations.
I am so proud of my bat mitzvah student. As part of my online Hebrew School and bat mitzvah and Jewish education, we learn that it’s not just about learning how to sing your Torah potion. Part of learning about Judaism, is learning how to look for opportunities to be kind and good each and every day. My online bat mitzvah student could have said – someone else will deal with the dog left in the car. But no, she took action! And because she did she may have saved that little dog’s life.