Woman frustrated over dog left in hot car

Police decided the dog was not in danger and no charges were filed

Jennifer Dowling and KOIN 6 News Staff - TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) -- A Beaverton woman is frustrated with local police and a new Oregon law after she feels not enough was done to help a dog locked in a hot car at the mall.

Katie York was shopping at the Washington Square Mall on Friday when she saw a German Shepherd sitting in a locked car, panting.

"My first reaction was I wanted to check if the dog was OK, so I went up there and I called him to the window and he responded pretty quick," she said.

York told KOIN 6 News the window was cracked enough to fit some fingers in, but she didn't think it was letting in enough air for the dog.

"The car was parked in the sun so I called non-emergency and they dispatched Tigard police out to the vehicle," she said.

York said it was 82-degrees and it took about 25 minutes for police to arrive.

"The officer that arrived said she evaluated the dog and to her assessment, the dog didn't seem to be in distress," York said.

York disagreed, especially in light of the recent passage of Oregon House Bill 27-32, which allows a person to break into a car to rescue a child or domestic animal in imminent danger of suffering harm.

"If you ask me, 82 degrees was enough to break that window and get that dog out," York said. "But it wasn't enough for the police to get the dog out. So it needs to be clarified what the law states."

A spokesman from the Tigard Police Department told KOIN 6 News the officer who responded was a former veterinary technician and in her opinion, the dog was in adequate condition and she didn't need to break in.

Police said when the owners arrived, the were "counseled" on pet safety but face no charges.

While in the end, the dog was OK, York feels more should have been done and this should never have happened.

"Nothing was really done about I mean this poor animal, he couldn't help himself," York said. "He was locked in this car. Be aware as a pet owner, they don't need to go with you, leave them home where they have water."

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