Two Fairfax officers were these dogs’ best friend

It’s hot. Much too hot to leave a dog in a van.

But that was the fate of two dogs in Chantilly last Friday.

A Chow and a Beagle/Cattle Dog mix were left inside a Chevy Express van that was parked in the Chantilly Shopping Center.  Someone called 9-1-1 and when Fairfax County Animal Protection Police officers arrived it was close to 3 p.m., the warmest time of the day. Officers measured the temperature inside the van at over 100 degrees. Both dogs were taken from the car and sent to a nearby vet where they were treated for dehydration.

Officers spoke to the owner, 73-year old Michael Norman of Union, West Virginia, and issued him a summons for animal cruelty.

County Animal Protection Police say they had 22 confirmed cases of dogs left in cars in Fairfax County, including one death, between June and September of last year. They say that rolling down the windows has little effect on the temperature inside a car.

What to do

They offer this hot weather advice:

On a warm day, temperatures can rapidly rise to dangerous levels. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact police. Even with the windows slightly open, the temperature in a car on a 93-degree day can soar to 125 degrees in just 20 minutes and approximately 140 degrees in 40 minutes.

Don’t leave pets in a car when it’s hot, not even for a few minutes.

If your pet shows any of the following signs contact your veterinarian immediately:

  •      heavy panting
  •      glazed eyes
  •      rapid heartbeat
  •      vomiting
  •      fever
  •      dizziness
  •      restlessness
  •      excessive thirst
  •     profuse salivation

If you see these symptoms take steps to reduce the animal’s body temperature. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest, provide water and ice cubes for hydration, and move the animal into the shade or air-conditioning.



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.