Kamloops woman rescues dog trapped in hot car | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops woman rescues dog trapped in hot car

Image Credit: UNSPLASH/ Tadeusz Lakota
August 26, 2020 - 11:06 AM

A Kamloops woman is calling for more attention to the well-being of pets after she spotted a dog in a hot car and argued with the owner on video.

Katina Gervasi says she was just getting into her vehicle at the Kamloops Walmart late last week when she witnessed something that didn’t sit right with her.

“They had taken their kid out and they were like, ‘get back there.’ I was watching and I noticed they made their dog jump into the back part from the front seat. I was like, ‘Oh they have a dog,’ and then they all went inside instead of one of them staying in the vehicle. So I thought, I thought I’m just going to sit here. I thought maybe they would only go in for five seconds, so I waited,” Gervasi says.

She called the B.C. SPCA after ten minutes of waiting for the family but received no answer, so she called local locksmith Ray Dhaliwal. She says other concerned people were around the vehicle, with one woman going into the store to have the dog’s owners paged, though they never came out of the store.

READ MORE: Kamloops locksmith will free dogs trapped in hot cars, at no cost

Dhaliwal, who owns Ray's Lock & Key, will free dogs trapped in hot vehicles at no cost. According to Gervasi, the locksmith arrived about ten minutes after the call, and spent another ten minutes trying to open the vehicle. He was unable to open the door and tried using a coat hanger-like device to pull up the lock mechanism through a cracked window.

Gervasi says both she and the locksmith were unable to get their arms in far enough, and asked for the help of some women in their 20s with thinner arms. Although the one girl nearly got her arm stuck, she was successful in popping the lock.

Once the dog was out, Gervasi says she let the dog inside her air conditioned car and waited for the owners to come out. Apparently when the family arrived, they opened the back hatch of their vehicle to load groceries, without noticing their dog’s absence.

“I waited another ten minutes and the people came out and they opened up their hatch and started loading the groceries in, and they didn’t even notice the dog wasn’t there to greet them. It was really odd so I just kept watching,” Gervasi says. “I eventually got out of my vehicle and walked to the man and woman and I said, do you guys realize that you left your dog in a hot car for almost an hour? And right away, she was like, ‘It wasn’t an hour.’”

READ MORE: Kamloops locksmith rescues two dogs from hot cars

Gervasi figured the woman would be thankful for her intervening, or even surprised at the amount of time she was gone. She then recorded her interaction with the dog’s owner, who allegedly became rude when defending leaving her dog in the car.

“I said, ‘We unlocked your vehicle and your dog is now in my car with the air conditioning,’ and she was quite rude. She didn’t like that I had meddled in something she felt was none of my business,” Gervasi says. “The guy just walked over to my car and opened the door, and the dog just went bolting out towards Walmart so he went chasing after the dog while the woman was arguing with me that the dog was just fine.”

Credit: FACEBOOK / Katina Gervasi

“I said, that’s animal abuse. You can't leave your animals in a vehicle when it’s hot like this,” Gervasi says. “I have a big malamute shepherd and she’s got long hair, and she would just die of heat. There is no way in hell we would leave our pets in the summer in the vehicle.”

The B.C. SPCA responded to Gervasi’s request and thanked her for helping the dog.

If you see an animal locked in a hot car, don’t smash a window as it’s illegal. Call the B.C. SPCA or a local locksmith.

— This story was updated at 8:14 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 to clarify how long it took for the locksmith to arrive at the scene.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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