Columbus Zoo staff remove dog from hot car in parking lot

CREDIT: Facebook

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Columbus Zoo and Aquarium staff members rescued a dog Saturday after visitors noticed it locked in a car in the parking lot.

A woman, who asked not to be identified, posted a photo on Facebook of the dog and said she called the security team.

CREDIT: Facebook
CREDIT: Facebook

She said she stood there until the dog was safely out of the car, and wondered why it took about 40 minutes for security to rescue it.

The Zoo, in a Facebook response to another visitor, said the temperature inside the car was about 90 degrees–and that the owner didn’t return to the car until two hours after the dog was removed from the vehicle.

Here is the Zoo’s response:

I spoke with our Director of Security and Safety and he provided the following account: ‘We got the call about a dog in the car at 3:10 p.m. Per our protocol we assessed the animal and called the Vet staff at 3:17 p.m. when it appeared the animal did not have any water. Vet staff responded, Security took inside temperature of vehicle (90 degrees). Vet staff advised the dog looked to be stressed and suggested that we remove the dog from the vehicle. By 3:59 p.m., the dog had been removed from the vehicle and was secure at the Zoo’s Animal Hospital.

While the entire process from first notification to secure in the Hospital took less than 1 hour, the main issue is that the vehicle proved a little difficult to unlock and required us to use a couple different methods. One thing we don’t do is break windows, unless a child is in the vehicle and the parent/guardian requests that we do so for entry. That of course is a last resort even for a child as the potential for injury from glass is also a concern.

The dog’s owner didn’t return to their car until 5:56pm and we do not know what time the dog’s owner first arrived at the Zoo’ Our security staff did speak with the dog’s owner about the risk of leaving their dog in their car.

Thank you for your concern and for giving us the opportunity to explain how the Zoo’s security team and vet staff assessed and resolved this situation.

CREDIT: Facebook
CREDIT: Facebook

The high on Saturday was 74 degrees.

In May, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill making it legal for people to force their way into a locked vehicle to save a minor or a pet if police are not able to get there in time.

Senate Bill 215 doesn’t take effect until August 29.

The law does come with some limitations, however. The person must call 911, they must check to see if the door is unlocked and if they feel it is an emergency they can break into the vehicle.

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