DEAR ABBY: The letter from "No Dogs in the Car" you printed last year (Aug. 6) appeared one day too late for me. I pulled into a supermarket parking lot on a hot afternoon and, as I was getting out of my car, I heard a dog barking and whining. It was a sweet little Yorkshire terrier that had been locked in a brand-new luxury vehicle with the windows barely cracked open. I couldn't tell how long he had been there, but his barking suggested he was not comfortable. I walked over to see if I could open the door.
A well-dressed woman came out of the store, saw me and shrieked, "Why are you standing next to my car?" I explained that because of the heat, her dog should not have been left in the enclosed vehicle. Her response? "Mind your own business, you dumb (rhymes-with-witch)!" she screamed and then stormed off.
I read the letter in your column from "No Dogs" the following day and made a copy. I hope I run into that "charming" woman again so I can hand her one. -- BONNIE'S MOM IN BEVERLY HILLS
DEAR BONNIE'S MOM: Your letter is timely because in parts of the country the temperature is soaring. And people frequently forget how quickly the temperature rises in an enclosed vehicle. Every summer we hear sad stories about pets perishing in parked cars.
But I digress. For your own safety, please don't hand that ill-mannered woman anything. Instead, leave it under her windshield wiper. Read on for what other readers say on this important subject:
DEAR ABBY: My animal services' phone number is programmed into my cell phone, and I used it recently when I saw a small dog locked in a hot car one afternoon. I called animal services and gave the location and description of the vehicle.
An animal control officer arrived within five minutes and stuck a thermometer in the window. Determining that the dog wasn't in immediate danger, he left a one-hour notice on the vehicle. If the owner returned within the hour, he would get a warning. If, however, the officer returned in an hour and the owner still had not appeared, the officer would break in and release the poor animal.
It's a useful number for animal lovers to keep on hand. -- READER IN RENO, NEV.
DEAR ABBY: According to the Arizona Humane Society, NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. Leaving a pet in a car on a hot day is not only against the law, it would lead to charges of animal cruelty. If you see an animal in a locked car, call your Humane Society Rescue Unit. They can respond more quickly than the police. But if the police are called, they can legally break a window. -- P.V.S. IN PHOENIX
DEAR ABBY: While attending the 1994 Gator National Drag Race in Gainesville, Fla., an announcement was made for the owners of an '89 Buick station wagon to please get their dog out of the car. Fifteen minutes later, a new announcement: "For the owners of the '89 Buick station wagon, we have good news and bad news. The good news is, your dog is fine. The bad news is, your passenger side window is now broken."
Everyone in the stands cheered! -- MITCH IN ROXBORO, N.C.
DEAR MITCH: Thanks for writing. I love a happy ending.