Denver, Colorado – On Tuesday, people walking through the parking lot of the Foothills Golf Course encountered a heartbreaking situation; a dog had been left inside of a vehicle while his owner went golfing. As reported by 9 News, the German shepherd was “in distress” when witnesses discovered him inside the parked car just before noon.
Desperate to help, the good Samaritans used a golf club to break out the car’s windows to remove the dog from the sweltering heat. The dog was administered CPR but the damage from being inside of the hot vehicle was too extensive and the German shepherd died.
One witness said the situation was “absolutely heartbreaking,” and another said they were, “brokenhearted to see it, but so many people rushed to the dog’s aid.”
The man, who was not publicly identified, returned to his car at 1:00 p.m. He told the authorities that he had started golfing at 8:45 a.m.
A Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said that it is “frustrating” to see people bring their dogs with them on warm and/or hot days, noting that their pets should be left at home.
People in Colorado can legally break a car’s windows to save a pet or child from dying in the heat. A portion of HB17-1179 states, “The bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for a person who forcibly enters a locked vehicle for the purpose of rendering assistance to an at-risk person or animal. To receive immunity, the person must:
Ensure the vehicle is not a law enforcement vehicle;
Have a reasonable belief that the person or animal is in imminent danger of death or suffering serious bodily injury;
Verify the vehicle is locked.
Good Samaritans are supposed to make an effort to find the car’s owner and contact the authorities, before breaking out the windows.
The man who left the dog inside of his car has a court summons to face a charge of animal cruelty.