Despite not thinking of becoming a hero on Friday, Shawna Harch did just that. She heard a dog barking in distress in a black Mercedes when it was about 90 degrees outside.
Despite trying other approaches, she ultimately smashes the window with her car jack.
On the evening of October 23rd, a woman was meeting friends for drinks in Portland, Oregon, when she heard a tiny dog barking furiously as she parked on a metered street.
While walking toward the noise, she spotted the pup in a small crate in the back of a Mercedes. There were no windows open, except for the sunroof being cracked by about an inch.
A parking slip placed on the dashboard had the time between 4:47 and 6:47. Since it was just about 5, it was likely that the owner would not return before it was too late to save the dog.
She contacted Multnomah County Animal Services, which directed her to the non-emergency police line. Yet, looking at the dog through the window, she knew it wouldn’t survive very long if they took too long to get there.
“By this point, a passerby named Suzanne had stopped to ask what was going on. My sister, Lia, had also arrived.” wrote Shawna on her blog. “The three of us began going around to every business in the immediate area, asking if anyone owned the vehicle.”
They all said no. Then a Caffe Allora‘s waitress came over and informed them she had seen the car owners enter the apartment next door. Her odds of finding them were slim, even if she managed to gain access to the building.
The situation became increasingly grim as minutes passed. Having stopped barking, the dog was now heavily panting and slumped against the side of the crate.
Shawna worked as a communications and PR specialist for an emergency animal hospital, where she was exposed to dogs suffering from heatstroke. This was her first time in such a situation.
She desperately tried to get the car’s alarm to go off, hoping that the owners would hear it and come outside. After shaking the car and hitting it with her hands, she felt like a lunatic. Unfortunately, no luck.
An act allowing good Samaritans to break windows to free dogs from hot cars had just been passed the day before, mentioned Suzanne. It was then that Shawna remembered that she had a small jack in her trunk.
Vehicle interior air temperature over time:
She grabbed it, her fists clenched around it and her heart racing. She had never damaged any property, and she usually doesn’t like to cause a scene because she’s introverted.
So this was definitely outside her comfort zone. As hard as she could, she clenched her teeth and swung the car jack like a baseball bat. However, the window did not break. Not even a crack appeared. Despite hitting it again, this time harder, nothing changed.
“I began to feel the tears building up. I was trying with all my might to get to this poor dog, but I couldn’t physically break the window,” She said. “My hands were bleeding and I was beginning to fear the worst.”
Related: 12 Insightful Ways To Protect Your Pooch From Heatstroke
Her eyes caught two men approaching and she asked if they knew how to smash the window. They didn’t, but they knew someone who might.
After a minute, three men pulled up, and one of them offered to provide a stainless steel water bottle for her to use on the window.
Instead, she raised the jack and threw it straight into the window.
“Oh, shit!” he said in surprise. “You won’t break it if you hit it in the middle – you have to aim for the corner.” Shawna aimed for the corner with her carjack this time, and it cracked. Repeatedly, the window smashes and she unlocked the door and pulled the crate out.
A big tub of water was brought over by the Caffe Allora crew to help cool the animal. After they had attended to the dog, Suzanne began sweeping the glass, while Shawna cleaned herself up.
Mary Ann had stopped at the scene to be another witness if the police arrived and needed her support.
The police arrived shortly thereafter, and Shawna showed them where the dog was. Having examined the dog, they took down the heroes’ information.
At this point, the car’s owners, two young men about 18, emerged from the apartment building.
Apparently unaware that the cracked roof was inadequate, they seemed confused by the scene in front of them. The vehicle owner thanked Shawna for saving the dog when she and the police explained to them that it wasn’t true.
It’s baffling that so many people are unaware of the possibility of death inside a hot vehicle. Are they unaware that when it’s hot outside and they get into a car, the windows are rolled down and the air conditioning is automatically cranked on?
Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens a lot, and the results are seldom positive.
Watch this video how hot it gets in a car over time:
“In circumstances like these, inaction is unacceptable. The craziest thing we can do is nothing. Speak up. Act swiftly and responsibly,” says Shawna. “In Oregon (and some other states), you have the law on your side. But more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.”
Thanks to Shawna Harch for rescuing this little puppy. Also thanks to Cafe Allora and all citizens involved. You are all special. A special mention to all the states that have allowed people to damage private property to save an animal’s life.
Video Of Heroic Dog Rescuing His Owner After Being Locked Out Of The House Is Just Amazing
Have you ever been locked out of the house and did not know what to do? It can be very stressful. You might have to call a locksmith, which will cost you dearly.
Or you could call your dog. And if they are capable enough, they could even get you out of this dreadful situation.