On July 5, two employees from the Hospital de L'Enfant-Jésus in Quebec, Canada came to the rescue of a dog trapped inside of a car left in direct sunlight who had begun to suffocate.
After smashing the car window to free the canine, they returned to the hospital to give the distressed animal some water, where they came across his owners who immediately demanded that the dog was returned to them. It was only after a stern talking to by police regarding the importance of caring properly for pets that the owners were allowed to leave with the dog.
However, a few days after the incident, the two employees that saved the dog, along with two employees from the mailroom who brought water to the animal, were suspended by the hospital for between three and eight days for breaking the visiting rules.
These rules, which apply to patient's pets, stipulate that access to domestic animals is strictly limited to guide dogs and service dogs for hospital patients, close carers, and handicapped visitors. Access to other dogs is strictly forbidden, other than those authorized for the zootherapy program.
The hospital has declined to comment on the sanctions taken against the employees, which have angered many people. Ann Gingras, president of the Conseil central de Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches (the equivalent of the local council) explained:
Frankly, it's over the top to suspend employees who acted as good samaritans and helped a dog in need, particularly coming form an establishment whose aim is to help people! All they did was give the dog water, they didn't take him for a walk around the building.
The four suspended employees had never been sanctioned before and had never had problems with the hospital's management. While they are no doubt upset by the response to their actions, they do not regret doing what they did and have expressed that they would not hesitate to come to the aid of another animal if a similar situation arose.
What to do if you see a dog trapped in a car on a hot day
It is now legal in many US states to break into a car to save a dog suffering inside. This includes California, Florida, Maine, Ohio, and Tennessee. 22 other states have laws which prohibit leaving an animal in an unattended vehicle, but only law enforcement or animal control are allowed to break in.
According to UK laws, you may cause damage to the owner’s vehicle if you think he would consent to this damage in the circumstances.
But you must be aware that it may be considered criminal damage to break into the owner’s car without proper justification. Use your own judgment to carefully evaluate the situation.
To find out more about this topic you can read this article.
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