Letters to the Editor

Hot Cars: Dogs left in hot cars, what to do?

Tacoma is lacking a responsive process for rescuing dogs from hot cars. On Saturday, while walking to UWT YMCA, I saw a dog sitting in a car on 11th and Market. The car was in the direct sun. While it was still cool, cars heat up extremely fast. I called 911 and reported the problem. On my return, the dog was still in the vehicle, visibly panting, in direct sun. Again, I called 911 and was told Animal Control doesn’t work on weekends and a Sargent needs to approve the rescue. Then, I walked up to the Fire Department. I was told, it was out of their jurisdiction.

What a bureaucratic labyrinth. Three phone calls and almost three hours. Really? What does it say about us as a city when our Fire and Police Department are unresponsive to dogs left in hot cars? The weekend is when people are out with their animal. If Animal Control is not working and the Police and Fire Department are not willing to rescue the animal, what happens? We need to reevaluate why Animal Control doesn’t work on weekends and we need a responsive process for getting dogs out of hot cars.