Q Oh boy! I bet you are being inundated with comments about Steve Gospe, who left his beagle alone in a car for three hours while he went skiing at Bear Valley.
A Indeed I am. When Steve returned to his car, the dog was barking loudly and bystanders had called police, who opened the door to come to the dog's aid. Those bystanders chastised Steve, who considered them busybodies since it was 46 degrees and he didn't feel his pet was in any danger. I wanted to know what others felt -- busybodies or not.
Q As a champion of animal rights and a hater of abusers, this is a tough one. Steve's problem is people don't know he's only skiing a half day and leaving a dog in a car all day is cruel. Was there a water dish and a doggy door for restroom breaks? And why not leave the dog at home? People were legitimately concerned and NOT busybodies. I am so pleased so many people chewed him out and called the cops.
A But ...
Q My vote is busybodies. My dog has separation anxiety and travels in the car with me many days of the week. Locking him up in a kennel is far more torture for him than living in my car all afternoon. ... Although those people were nice to check on the dog, they didn't assess the situation, were woefully lacking in judgment, and were incredibly ignorant in thinking that the dog could get overheated in the car under the described circumstances. ... They are busybodies. A dog in a car cool enough to see the dog's breath is NOT in danger of baking to death. ... My brother, who is a sheriff's deputy, said you may not leave a dog in a car in a situation that places it in danger. He said under the circumstances I described, the dog wouldn't be in danger so it would be fine.
Linda Walton, Ann Mayers, Jerry Straks, Patti White and Susan Howard
A But ...
Q So the dog owner believes he is blameless for leaving his dog in his car in cold weather, with the windows sufficiently "cracked". ... Dogs and children do NOT belong unattended in vehicles under ANY circumstances. Make other arrangements for them. Don't do it. Ever. Please. ... I am so mad. Steve Gospe, why take a dog with you? ... He decides to bring his dog, who "goes nuts" when left alone in the car. Then he leaves the dog alone in the car for three hours. Please, next time you go skiing, leave the pooch safe and secure at home. Most responsible and considerate dog owners would have boarded the dog in a kennel ... At a minimum, the guy should have his dog in a crate while in the car. ... This wasn't a run into a shop or a bank, but leaving the dog in the car for three hours. Why bother bringing the dog at all? ... Book 'em, Dano! I can't sit in a car for three and a half hours without having to go pee. Why should the dog?
Linda Michener, Jim Peck, Wendy Harrison, Mary Tusa, John Luebben, Wayne Giroux, David Barton, Bill Anderson, Richard Gaskill, Patti White, Joe Seaton and Dennis Cole
A Let's call his a split decision, and I cast the final vote. Steve, three hours was far, far, far too long to leave your beagle. These folks were not busybodies.