VA SPCA President’s Dog Dies In Car

by Mary Haight on August 26, 2009

Dogs in Cars
Image by Orin Zebest via Flickr

If this can happen to someone who heads up an anti-cruelty organization, it can happen to any one of us.  As shocking as it is,it was reported today that Robin Starr, CEO of the Richmond Va SPCA, went to work  August 19th, not realizing her husband had put her 16-yr-old blind and deaf dog, Louie, in the back seat of the car.  He knew she often took the dog to work, so he was helping her.  He neglected to mention that fact to her.  It was a full four hours later, when she took a break for lunch, that she discovered the dog, dying of heat stroke in the back seat.   It was 91 degrees by noon that day in Richmond.  She took the dog to her clinic and then on to another.  There was no saving Louie.

The board of the SPCA backs Starr’s decision not to resign.  Grief, guilt, and recrimination will be her constant companions in the coming months.  A grim reminder that we all need to slow down and be aware of our surroundings and what is happening right now, rather than thinking and planning one, two or more hours ahead of where we are right now.  I’m going to try to take my own advice!  Read more here.

Here’s a video describing what happens to the temperature in car within just a few minutes, even with windows open.  If you watch it, you probably won’t make the mistake of “well, it will only take me a few minutes; the dog should be fine…” Don’t leave children or the elderly in the car, either.

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