Having been in the animal care business for over 20 years, I have seen many situations that one would consider animal neglect as the root cause of a sick or injured animal. Many times these situations are not intentional but still the animal's welfare and life may be at risk. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get justice for an animal in a neglect/cruelty case as the laws are not very strong in many states. Often times if there is an animal being treated cruelly in a home, child abuse and domestic violence are present too.
Last weekend it was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon and the temperature was about 85 degrees. While returning to my car after making a stop, I heard a dog bark. I looked around and saw dogs in a pickup truck with the windows rolled down about 2 inches. Immediately my hackles go up as this is a situation that makes my blood boil instantly. I still find it unbelievable that people believe this is not a danger to the animal. Temperatures inside a car climb very quickly and are easily over 100 degrees within a few minutes on an 85 degree day. Every summer the media covers this story either as a public service announcement or because some poor animal died due to a neglectful owner. The analogy that keeps going through my head: Would you leave your baby or child in the car under the same situation and think it was ok?
I walked over to the vehicle to check the dogs. They were panting very hard and were a bit upset but did not appear to be in distress, yet. With the help of a couple of other people, we tried to locate the owner without success. I called the police and requested an officer to the location. As soon as the police arrived, so did the owner of the truck. The owner, of course, had many excuses such as " I was only gone a few minutes" to " They are my boys and they go with me everyday." The owner obviously had trouble telling time as I had been there at least 20 minutes. I was very pleased as the officer took the situation seriously and told the guy this borders on animal cruelty. I don't know how it ended as the officer wanted to speak with the guy privately so I dismissed myself. Fortunately, the dogs were not harmed despite the guys stupidity.
If you ever see this situation, be vigilant and call the authorities as this is animal cruelty. Be an advocate for the neglected animal and help save his life.
For more information: http://www.weather.com/outlook/homeandgarden/pets/articles/d139