One woman got punched in the head, twice, another got grabbed by
the throat and had claw marks down her chest. Another went to
The dog, however, emerged uninjured.
As the weather warms up and people leave pets in the car while
they run errands, and other people keep an eye out for those pets
lest they perish in the car, an incident last week over a dog
left in an SUV shows how volatile and aggressive humans can be when
it comes to dogs.
woman who routinely patrols parking lots looking for dogs in
distress applauded the women who removed the dog last
Tuesday, as well as the Bremerton Police officer who said the dog
removers acted “in good faith” and were not cited. However, she
thinks lawmakers need to write a law making sure good Samaritans
Here is what happened:
A 52-year-old Port Orchard woman took her friend’s teenage
daughters to a show at the movie theater on Fourth Street in
Bremerton. She left her dog inside her car. She cracked the windows
and left it a bowl of water.
Meanwhile, employees of a nearby business believed the
unseasonably warm weather and direct sunlight was putting the dog
in distress (A National Weather Service meteorologist said the high
for the day was 61 degrees). They called police for a check on the
dog, but nobody arrived. They tried breaking the window, to no
One of the employees – the one who got choked – has skinny arms
and she was able to reach into the SUV and unlock the door,
releasing the dog.
When the 52-year-old Port Orchard woman returned from watching a
movie, all hell broke loose. At first she thought the dog had been
stolen, so she called 911. While on the phone, the employees
approached her with the dog.
The employee said the Port Orchard woman was calm at first, but
then attacked her. The Port Orchard woman said she felt threatened.
During the punching, the other employee tried to intervene, the
report said, but that’s when the suspect grabbed her by the
throat. The two teenage girls were shocked by what they saw and
refused to go with the woman.
The Port Orchard woman’s husband came and said he would take the
dog, the teenage girls and the SUV. The woman was arrested for two
counts of fourth-degree assault. When she inquired about the
removal of her dog, the officer said, “It appeared that it was a
good faith effort for the safety of the dog,” according to the
Last summer I wrote about Sandra Crump, who almost instinctively
roves parking lots on hot days looking for dogs left in cars.
She knows how quickly those confrontations can escalate. She has
never been punched or grabbed by the throat, but one time an
“elderly gentleman” started swinging his cane at her, using “filthy
and vile language.”
“He limped through parking lot after me, his wife was aghast,”
she said, who has a sense of humor about herself, and has
called her fixation on looking for overheated dogs a
It can also lead to violent encounters. You never know who you
might be upsetting, or what kind of frame of mind they might be in
when you confront them.
“I guess they are embarrassed,”
she said of those she has confronted. “People don’t want to be told
don’t beat your kid. ‘It’s my kid.’ People don’t want to have
others interfere with their property. But (a dog) has
Crump believes state lawmakers
should clarify that a residents will not be subject to prosecution,
although local law enforcement officials have said if one acts in
good faith to save a life — dog or human or otherwise — they are
unlikely to get in
trouble for breaking a
window or entering somebody else’s car.
Aside from legal protections, Crump said a new law would
raise awareness and might help eliminate the practice of leaving
dogs in cars entirely.
She said she was relieved to hear about the people who freed the
dog last week, saying it made her feel less lonely.
“I’m not the only nutcase out there,” she said.
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