We're thrilled that the good samaritans saved this dog. He was obviously in distress and accepted water out of a stranger's hand. Click the button below to watch the person being confronted by the crowd.

The dog was left in the car with the windows up at Hannaford in Oneonta during the recent heatwave. This is what Bob Howard told us about the situation:

Believe it or not, because I and about 5 other people made a citizen arrest, not allowing this woman to leave, someone called the troopers on us. Three trooper cars came screaming into the parking lot. After the troopers finished with the woman they then dealt with me saying I broke the law by holding the woman there and also for going into the vehicle to help the dog and give him water. I told them what I do for a living and that I was able to tell the dog was in trouble and thankfully they eased up.

Bob is a co-owner of DogWatch and has been in the pet containment industry and a highly sought after dog obedience trainer for 21 years.

Bob said the  NYS Troopers took her information and were reporting her to the SPCA. He didn't think they gave her any type of ticket.

It's insane.....poor dog was in rough shape...Thankfully I was wearing a DogWatch bandanna for a mask so the troopers felt I had credibility as to the dog's health.


It's estimated that on a sunny 70-degree day, it only takes 30 minutes for the temperature inside a car to reach 104 degrees. Heatkills.org says, "When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172."

We reached out to Erin Insinga, Shelter Manager at the Delaware County Humane Society in Sidney, and she said:

We have a moral obligation to act swiftly and diligently if we see an animal in distress. Already we have had numerous calls of animals being left in hot cars while their owners are shopping or running errands. It literally takes MINUTES for an animal to go into distress from heat exhaustion. The law is on your side and cops are typically VERY quick to respond to calls for help.

We asked Oneida County Sheriff and president of the New York State Sheriff's Association Robert Maciol if any laws were broken by opening the unlocked door to give the dog water. He says:

In that situation, I don’t see where they would’ve broken the law by opening an unlocked door and providing water. They should have also called 911. That way, law-enforcement can respond and file the appropriate charges. Depending on the outside/inside temperature, they certainly could be held criminally responsible for leaving a dog in that situation. I’m not familiar with this particular story and I don’t know what the temperature was that day. The best advice I can give people is to immediately call 911 and standby until law Enforcement arrives. The interior temperature of a car can quickly kill an animal or person on these hot days.

Every year hundreds of dogs die of heat exhaustion because they were left in a hot car "for just a minute." This is cruel and avoidable.

Signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination.

If you find a dog inside a car displaying symptoms of heatstroke, call 911, the police, or any emergency personnel as they can use whatever means necessary to extract a pet out of an unattended vehicle. New York does not have a Good Samaritan Law allowing you to break a window to save a pet (although, we would rescue the dog and pay the consequences later).


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