Jennifer Beals left her dog in a warm car for 5 minutes: bad dog-mom or fine?


Uncontroversial opinion: people love animals. Most people adore cats and dogs and anything furry. Controversial opinion: at times, some people can be busybodies about other people’s animals. If you see an animal being legitimately mistreated, yes, of course, speak up. But it does feel like SOME people go out of their way to “shame” pet owners over relatively small stuff. Case in point: Jennifer Beals left her German Shepherd in her car with the windows partially rolled down. She left her in the car for several minutes. And everyone in Vancouver basically freaked out. Here’s a photo that a legitimate Canadian reporter took of Beals’ dog:

Some will say “OMG, the dog’s panting!” My dog pants when he’s watching Jeopardy (he’s really thinking hard). He pants when he’s finished his rawhide bone and sitting in the air conditioning. Apparently, people actually waited by Beals car to confront her about her dog and someone was even filming it. After hours of social media scorn, Beals made a statement:

“I have loved dogs my whole life. They’ve been in my life since the day I was born. Every dog I’ve had has been a rescue. I would never ever jeopardize an animal’s safety. Ever. I’ve worked with dogs in obedience, agility and shepherding training. I am not only a loving dog owner but a discerning one. The morning was a cool 73 degrees. I and others were wearing jackets. I rolled all four windows down and left the car for five minutes to pick up laundry, my car visible to me the entire time. I wondered why two people were congregated by my car taking pictures of my girl. Proud mama thought it was because she’s so gorgeous. While I appreciate their vigilance and what must have felt like courage on their part, they were barking up the wrong tree.”

Laura London, a credentialed dog trainer adds, “Jennifer is one of the more savvy and committed dog owners I have ever worked with. She has a hard wired intuition that most owners do not. I teach all of my clients the importance of responsible dog ownership from training, to health, to safety, including hot car danger. I can say with confidence that Jennifer never put her beautiful dog in danger.”

[From E! News]

I believe her. I believe 73 degrees with all four windows open a few inches is plenty of air for a dog for five minutes. And yes, I take this personally – I once had my dog in my car in the middle of almost-chilly autumn day (it was probably about 55-60 degrees) and I left the windows like Beals had hers and my dog was in the car for LESS than five minutes. I came out to a bitchy note left on the windshield and a busybody waiting by my car, telling me to never leave a dog in those kinds of conditions. I’m not saying that there aren’t extremely notable and tragic moments where people should definitely speak up and do something – of course there are. This year, there’s been a rash of police dogs dying in locked police cars. There are morons leaving their dogs in cars in mall parking lots for hours. Of course it’s an issue. So take a stand on those cases, not when you see a see a person leave their dog in a car as they run into the dry cleaners. It seems like there are some really judgy, faux-superior people just itching to unload on responsible dog owners. Judgy dog-mom-shamers are the new judgy moms.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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221 Responses to “Jennifer Beals left her dog in a warm car for 5 minutes: bad dog-mom or fine?”

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  1. Jayna says:

    That is crazy. The windows are down more than enough. The dog is under cover. I’m sure she had the air-conditioner on when she got there so the temperature was down in the car when she turned it off. The temperature there wasn’t like a heatwave that day. Some big dogs pant a lot when outside.

    • V4Real says:

      +1 I’m a pet owner and lover. I don’t think this particular pup was in harms way. I know people are saying it had to be longer than 5 minutes because several people gathered around her car. But that’s not true. Beals could have been gone for only a minute when someone noticed the dog and their reaction caused others to convene around her car.

      The dog was panting. Well pet owners would know that dogs pants as a way to keep cool. My husky pup can be in temperatures of 60 and he still pants.

      • ORLY says:

        The “busybody” may not have known how long the dog had been left in the car. I know that here in Canada people have been encouraged (by the authorities, humane society, etc) to be vigilant when they notice dogs left in cars on hot days, because of similar dog deaths as was mentioned by Kaiser. In this case they were “barking up the wrong tree”.
        Best to just leave the dog at home if you’re running errands (unless it’s a quick stop from the vet, dog park or where ever). I know some people who take their dogs to brunch on patios and have the poor things laying out in the sun while the humans sip mimosas. How is that better than letting the dog stay at home?

      • V4Real says:

        On extremely hot days it is best to leave the dog home. We’ve had some pretty hot and humid temperatures here in NY. I take my pup to the dog park around 7:30 am before the temp reaches a higher degree. He only goes out in the afternoon for a short potty walk, then around 8 or 9pm he goes out again to play or potty.7pm if it’s not too hot. And yes I have left my pup in the car for the reasons you stated above. After one of those visits I may stop on the way home for water, snacks or something. And I don’t think I’m out of my car for 5 minutes. How long does it takes to grab a soda. The windows are down and the car is still cool from the AC. I also keep a water bowl in my car for my pup.

        On the Demi Lovato post I posted where a man was playing fetch with his 5 year old Lab and the dog died from liver failure caused by NY’S extreme heat. His liver temp was too high.

      • Sherry says:

        I have 3 dogs and never leave them alone in the car unless one of my kids is also in the car (my kids are 11, 13 and 18) with the air conditioning running and that’s only if I’m running into the grocery store for a 5 minute grab and self-checkout. I know if something happened to the air or if it started getting too hot, they can call me and get themselves and the dogs out of the car if necessary.

        Here’s why … my husband is an attorney. He used to do criminal defense, but doesn’t do that anymore. However, years ago a man came to his office because he’d been charged with murder of a child. He had never been in trouble before, and was babysitting his girlfriend’s daughter.

        :::NOT Defending him::: He left the child in the car (80 degrees when he went in) because he was “just going to pop into an electronics store for a couple of minutes to get some batteries and the baby was sleeping.” Once inside, he ran into an old friend and started talking, then got distracted by the gadgets in the store and the salesman trying to sell him him things. He FORGOT he had the child in the car until he brought his packages back two hours later when the temperature had risen to 90 degrees outside. He called 911, but it was too late and the child died 2 days later.

        Never underestimate your ability to get distracted and forget your dog or your child. You may not think it could happen to you, but it could. When my kids were really young, I used to pray God would never let me forget them. I was so thankful when they all reached the age where I knew they could unbuckle themselves and get out if they needed to.

      • stinky says:

        Sherry is right – it’s just too-too easy to FORGET. That’s the point.

      • J. says:

        But what if you wouldn’t forget? I’ve left my dog in the car for 5 minute trips, and if they start turning into more than 5 minute trips (long lines, can’t find what I need, etc), I leave immediately.

        Sorry, but when I leave my dog in the car to run an errand, my mind is on getting back to the car asap.

      • joan says:

        Do NONE of you get it that the temp in a car is magnified due to the glass windows? Sure it feels OK outside when you’re strolling into the store, but scientifically, the car heats up as the sun comes through the glass.

        Do you know how man kids died inside hot cars this year so far? 11.

        Even with all the publicity, 11 parents still left their child in car to die.

        What’s wrong with people?

        Didn’t you ever see someone frying ants with a magnifying glass? Haven’t you ever seen an explanation of how much the temp goes up inside a parked car?

        Lotsa rationalizations here for bad behavior.

    • laura in LA says:

      But how are people supposed to know where the owner has gone and for how long?

      It seems to me these bystanders, or “busybodies” as some here so dismissively call them, waited until she returned, then calmly expressed their concerns.

      They didn’t break windows or call the cops, didn’t even know who the owner was, but the reason for taking video is because you’d be surprised how violently some people react to these situations.

      Whether any of you know this or not, panting is how dogs sweat or blow off anxiety and stress, and it’s the first sign of a dog going into distress.

      Simple solution: Leave your dog at home and not in the car.

      • V4Real says:

        I’ve had dogs all my life , panting is a cooling system for dogs. It’s how they keep cool. It doesn’t automatically means the dog is going into stress. Now heavy panting might be a reason to be concerned. This could be for various health issues such as heart failure, respiratory disorders and so. Even some medications and injury and pain can cause heavy panting.

        Panting is not really sweating for dogs, though they do have sweat gland located in the paws. They get rid of heat by panting. Like I said my pup pants even when it’s about 60 degress, he’s just cooling himself but dogs in general do not sweat.

      • laura in LA says:

        Yes, V4Real, but how is any bystander supposed to know when an unknown dog is panting normally or heavily?

        Should they stand around and wait until the dogs are barking and panicking? Because I’ve done that, and the owners who finally returned still didn’t give a sh*t, and they often get angry at anyone who dares to even look at them, nevermind question what they’re doing.

        My point is that heatstroke happens very quickly, and well-meaning people may be just agonizing over what to do.

        On another note: At the store where I used to work, there’s a sign at the escalator warning people to pick up children and pets, but one day, a woman insisted on riding with her small, furry dog, whose paw got stuck and badly mangled in the gears at the top. Screaming and blood spattered everywhere…

        We did all we could, called paramedics to treat them and make sure they were okay, but you know what she said to me in the most smarmy voice as we escorted her to her car? “Don’t worry, it’s not like I’m going to sue you!”

        No, it couldn’t be that we actually cared about her and her dog. Personally, I couldn’t have cared less if she did sue because I wasn’t liable, also knew that she would get nothing from it.

        Some people, no matter what happens, will always blame others for their own mistakes, too narcissistic to show any gratitude for help given. Oh, well.

      • Sherry says:

        @laura in LA – Great point regarding escalators and pets! My daughter has a service dog and one thing I have stressed to her is never get on an escalator with her dog and always take the stairs or an elevator.

        I have seen photos of what escalators can do to poor animals and it’s horrific!

      • V4Real says:

        @laura but you’re twisting my entire response. I was not commenting on bystanders knowing when a dog is panting heavily or not. I was just stating that dogs don’t sweat because you said that panting is their way of sweating. Panting is their way of cooling themselves while heavier panting might indicate distress.

      • laura in LA says:

        Sorry, V4Real, if I misconstrued what you wrote.

    • KB says:

      This is absurd! I was ready to be super pissed, because I’m in Houston and the temperature in a car reaches over 125 F within minutes of you turning it off here. And then I saw the windows down and the word “Vancouver” and started laughing. I love my pets, I think all animals should sleep on beds inside a nice cool, or warm (depending on where you are) home. And the only thing I take away from this is, 73 degrees?! What a lucky bastard! My dog won’t have 73 degree weather until October!

    • REEEELY?? says:

      Dogs just don’t belong in cars during the summer PERIOD. I seriously doubt it was five minutes, that’s “busy time” that flys by. I actually like the movement of people getting concerned because “five minutes” can be much longer if a person gets distracted. Dogs belong in a nice air conditioned or cool house or at a doggie daycare. I see Ms Beals can afford the finest in self-preening, and I’m certain she can afford a place for her “agile” pet that isn’t in a stuffy car.

      • Jess says:

        Wow, crazy much? I love my dog, and I leave her in the car for a 5 minutes (yes, 5 minutes…b/c I’m an adult and can tell time, I can make sure it’s only 5 minutes) to run into the store or drop something off. Like Beals, I almost always make sure I can see her wherever I am. If it’s too hot or sunny that day, I make sure to do my errands on my own. If these people had been waiting outside my car and admonished me, they would’ve gotten a major earful. I’m sick of “special snowflakes” that seem to abound these days — people who believe they know everything and are in charge of everything and everyone and will publicly berate anyone who doesn’t kowtow to them. E.g, I had a lady scream at me to get my dog out of “the f*king lake” on a hot summer day. Hmm, no, go f*ck yourself. This is MN in the summer. Unless it’s a private lake (which it wasn’t), dogs will swim and play and fetch in our many lakes and rivers — b/c 1) it can get very hot and humid here and 2) they endure brutal winters so we make the most of nice weather when we can.

        If you’re not a cop or someone else in charge of public safety, leave it ALONE. CALL the authorities, animal control, and/or notify the store management, etc and let those whose JOB it is to keep the peace and the public safe handle things. Don’t approach, berate, warn, etc. other people. Things can turn violent very quickly.

        Now, if it’s a child in a warm car, that’s an emergent situation and necessitates action.

    • itzblissy says:

      Here is a chart on how fast the car heats:

      This is why people get concern. If its hot enough 5 minutes can kill a dog/baby.

      At 70 degrees, the car will get to 89 in 10 minutes. As a bystander, you don’t know how long the owner has been gone. Are you really okay with walking away hoping for the best? Dogs and babies dies every year because of this!

      I agree completely that breaking windows or calling the police is too much if its only 70, but if its over 85 and you see a dog or baby in a car for longer than 5 minutes call the police before they die!

    • pookypie says:

      I live in Vancouver and it was about 79 degrees that day, but felt hotter. It is always the hottest here at about noon and the tweet from the reporter is at 11:40am so I can understand how some people passing by the car got concerned. We have had a rash of dogs dying or getting very sick from being in overheated cars here, so I think people are just being hypervigilant.

    • LA Juice says:

      you could not be more wrong. here is the link to the american veterinary association website chart on how quickly a car can get to 114 degrees …even with windows down.

      https:// public/PetCare/Pages/ pets-in-vehicles.aspx

      and that is conservative. you people need to get your facts straight.

  2. Elyse says:

    I loved her response. I hope that “journalist” felt like an idiot when people realized the dog wasn’t actually in jeopardy. I’m glad people are taking a stand in this issue, but let’s cool it when the dogs safe, yeah?

    • laura in LA says:

      Why should the journalist feel like an idiot when she has the accounts of other bystanders and Vancouverites to back her up on that day?

      Jennifer Beals is the one who feels stupid now, and hopefully, her non-apology doesn’t mean she feels excused from all this.

      • maria says:

        Actually Jennifer Beals should feel thankful for all the (much-needed) exposure and publicity she’s getting out of this. I haven’t seen so many Flashdance pictures floating around since they were promoting the movie back in the ’80’s.

    • S says:

      Agree,, it’s one thing to wait to be sure the dog is safe. Quite another to post to social media.

      I don’t think she did anything wrong in leaving her dog for 5 min, but agree it places a burden on bystanders to figure out if it’s a quick errand or forgotten dog (or child.) Ideally, she should have brought the dog inside with her or even tied it up right outside the cleaners. As annoying as it is, I did that with my children when they were both small, even if it’s a few minutes. Now I have the older one, who can explain what mom is doing.

    • Chris says:

      Please Google “Brookswood 6” and see why Vancouverites can be outraged by people leaving dogs in cars on hot days.
      Also, I live in Vancouver and it wasn’t that cool at that time of day. I was quite warm at 630am when I took my own dog for a walk on Wednesday.

  3. raptor says:

    This same thing happened to my cousin yesterday. She left her dog in the car with the windows open a few inches while she took her small children into a rest stop to use the restroom. When she came out, a woman told her that she should have stayed with the dog instead of going into the rest stop with her kids, one of whom is under the age of 5.

    • Lara K says:

      When people are that dumb, only one thing works. Your cousin should have looked at her funny and said really loudly,
      “No, I do not have any spare change, please leave my kids alone.”

  4. tracking says:

    I’m sorry, several minutes in temperate weather with the windows lowered? People are nuts, and should mind their own business unless there is an actual case of distress at hand. smh.

  5. Little Darling says:

    I totally agree. This isn’t a case of abuse, it’s a case of dog and owner being so close owner takes dog with her to run mundane errands.

    I loved her statement and appreciate how she was able to defend her position with facts, a bit about her history with dogs, a comment about the weather, and then appreciation for those who felt like they had to intervene, peppered with the slightest bit of sass.

    Way to stay classy!

    • Kitten says:

      Her statement was perfect.

      I’ve been wanting a dog for a while now but these stories are such a turn-off. Also, when we went to a polo game a few weeks ago my friend brought his beautiful Great Dane along with us. There are tons of people who go to the game and bring their dogs but this particular dog had a group of people following him and his owner around. They were like Dane groupies.
      As I like to limit my interaction with complete strangers, that sh*t would drive me bonkers.

      • raptor says:

        I think (probably due in large part to their size) Great Danes are striking, even in comparison to other equally cute dogs. My husband and I have three dogs, one of whom is a Great Dane, and when we walk them in the evenings, the Dane by and large gets the most attention. We’ve had people literally stop their cars in the middle of the street or follow us around the block in their vehicles to tell us what a beautiful dog we have.

        We also get a lot of comments because we have a Great Dane, a medium-sized mutt, and a Chihuahua, and that confuses people.

      • Kitten says:

        Haha..that would be cute to see a Dane and a Chihuahua side-by-side.
        Interesting about Danes, although I can see it, since they are so spectacularly big. This particular Dane is shorter than most Danes I’ve seen though. STUNNING dog though-he is very well-behaved, VERY spoiled, and very much loved by his owner.

      • Crumpet says:

        Great Danes will break your heart though. They don’t live long enough. 🙁 Mine succumbed to bone cancer at age 6. His buddy (a miniature dachshund) lived to be 12. Those two certainly drew comments when I went for walks with them. 🙂

      • Ange says:

        I loved my Great Dane but yeah, they do get a lot of attention and you have to be ready for it. I don’t know how many times someone would say to me ‘you should ride it home!’ I never wanted to be rude and point out it was the thousandth time I’d heard the joke but my god it wore thin lol.

    • sills says:

      That’s how I read it too, it’s cool she takes her doggie out for errands rather than leaving him at home. My dog LOVES car trips so I can relate to this.

      Also off topic, but seriously is she a vampire or what? She looks gorgeous! Flashdance was over 30 years ago and she still looks so youthful!

  6. Samtha says:

    I think she was in there longer than 5 minutes. It was also 79 and sunny, with a much higher heat index there, not 73.

    ETA: it takes 10 minutes for a car in the sun to heat to 100 degrees in 75-degree weather.

    • Abbott says:

      I’m calling bs, too. In a mind-your-own-business society, it had to have been longer than 5 minutes for people to have noticed and congregated like that.

      • Samtha says:

        Yep. It was also around 2pm, when the sun is really hot.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        No, it doesn’t have to be a real crisis for people to overreact. My husband and I went to pick up some takeout on an April evening. It was about 65 degrees. A lady came in behind us and left right after us. She was probably in the restaurant for about five minutes. She happened to be parked next to us and had left her dog in car with the windows half way down. These two helpy helper-tons had flagged down a policeman to come “save” the dog. The officer was furious at his time being wasted, and chewed the people out, telling them that the dog was in absolutely no danger whatsoever and he had been on his way to a call and had stopped for them and sent someone else farther away to answer his call. The dog owner was embarrassed and near tears at being accused of abusing her dog, and the busybodies were just smug buttinskies with nothing better to do.
        Should you act if the windows are rolled up and the dog is in real danger? Absolutely. But there are people out there with no common sense who just want to be judgmental about everybody else’s pets, too.

      • Kitten says:

        @GNAT. First, thank you for bringing back “buttinskie”.

        Second, that story you told is absolutely ridiculous.

        Last summer my boyfriend saw a dog sitting in a car on a summer day for an hour or so. It was parked right outside his office so he could actually keep tabs on how long it was in there. He had seen the owners go into the bar across the street so after feeding the dog treats through the partially-opened window (I told him not to do that but he ignored me) he went inside to tell the bartender. The bartender then found the owners to tell them they should probably close out their tab soon. The owners were apologetic and concerned and everything ended peacefully without incident.

        I agree that there are too many nosy buttinskies in this world though. I think it’s important to speak up, but only if you are very certain the dog is in danger. Just seeing a dog sitting and panting in a car is not enough of a reason, I don’t think.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Your welcome, Kitten. Buttinski buttinski buttinski

        Definitely, I would err on the side of caution, but I promise you, the dog was not even panting. It wasn’t hot and it was breezy and the windows were rolled down. They were just jerks. But your Bf did the right thing, and I’m not trying to discourage people from getting involved in a real situation. My point was simply that just because these people freaked out doesn’t mean that anything was wrong.

      • LikeThat says:

        I have two lovely labs. I had them in the back of the SUV, sun roof open, windows cracked, on a nice fall day last year and parked my car in a shady spot to run in and drop off my water bill payment when the pay-online option wasn’t working. It was one of those, “walk in, drop envelope in slot” situations. I was inside the building less than 5 minutes. I came back out to three people berating me for “animal abuse” and letting me know they’d already called the cops. So, I can definitely buy that all this happened while she was picking up dry cleaning.

      • Kitten says:

        @GNAT-I agree completely.

        @LikeThat-Ugh. That’s insane.

      • crtb says:

        Dear GoodNamesAllTaken
        My daughter is an EMT who works closely with the police and fire departments and she was saying this exact same thing last night. Everyone trying to be a hero when there is no real danger. All summer, they have been getting 911 calls only to arrive where the air conditioner is running or all four windows are open or it isn’t even hot. Thank you to all of those people who help when there is a real danger.

    • Deedee says:

      Accuweather has the high for that day in Vancouver at 75. Add in the shade and the windows cracked and there was no danger for that dog. How long would you hang around at the dry cleaner, anyway?

  7. Abbott says:

    73 degrees and window cracked doesn’t seem like an issue. Buuuuuut how do they know she was ‘only five minutes?’ If a group of people gathered, filmed it, tweeted, and called in, that seems like they were all either the parking lot watch group, monitoring with their thermostats and stop watches… or it was longer than five minutes.

  8. Citresse says:

    Leaving a human being or a pet in excessive heat or cold is never good.

  9. kri says:

    This stuff is where I get irked easily. Ok, I guess if it’s cool outside and you are just a couple minutes and the dog is able to have fresh air and still stay secure, okay. But..I don’t know. I just hope it was a few minutes. Grrrrrrrrr.

  10. missmerry says:

    i think people are so quick to want to tear somebody apart for ANYTHING, especially if they have their iphone with them.

    I think this is a great example of how the way we are as people is changing for the worse due to the things people think its OK to do online …it’s starting to translate to the way we behave in real life, jumping to conclusions and playing the ‘you’re not perfect so i’m going to rip you apart because i have an opinion that i created from headlines online’ card.

    • missmerry says:

      and since none of us were there, we’ll never know how hot it really was, outside or in the car, or how long this woman was gone from the car.

    • Samtha says:

      I think this is a great example of how decent humans can be. Do you know how many pets die in cars every year? And these people took time out of their day to check on this dog and try to get him help. Whether he was truly in danger or not, the fact that people *cared* enough is heartening.

      You can look at weather reports yesterday to see it was 79 degrees and sunny, with a high heat index. It occurred in the afternoon when the sun is brightest. When it’s 75 outside, a car heats up to 100 degrees in 10 minutes. And if that many people gathered and reported the dog being in the car, it would have been much longer than five minutes.

      • Algernon says:

        If it’s really about caring, you don’t stand around and wait for the owner to return, you try to find someone who can help liberate the dog. For these people it’s about the confrontation, about getting to be righteous and superior (and smug). And no, it doesn’t take longer than five minutes. A passer-by sees the dog in the car, stops, takes a picture. The next person, curious as to what they’re doing, also stops, and now you have people congregating. It only takes moments.

      • MinnFinn says:

        Samtha, Do you have a link with data on how quickly a car heats up? I would love to have that info as I’ve only seen short anecdotes but no formulas or calculations.

        Shade, sun’s angle, dew point, wind speed, surface on which the vehicle is parked, vehicle’s interior color and textiles, how much windows are open all significantly impact the interior heating and cooling of a car.
        We don’t have enough info to conclude whether or not the interior was comfy or a death trap. A car parked in the shade on 75F day **may** be comfy depending on all other factors.
        Also, one of the photo tweets is dated 7/29, 1:40 pm. The high temp in Vancouver that day was 24C (75F not 79) which typically occurs 4-5pm. The photo tweet above looks like the vehicle had partial shade. Also, do we know for sure she didn’t leave the car running with AC on?

      • MinnFinn says:

        Algernon, You make a good point. If the dog was in danger why didn’t someone get it out. Because in the photo, the window is cracked enough for someone to get their arm inside, unlock and open the door.

      • Neah23 says:

        @ minnFinn

        And get bitten by the dog?

      • Samtha says:

        @Algernon- they called the police to come get the dog out, which is what you’re supposed to do unless the animal is at the point of death. In most places it’s not legal to break a window or remove the dog, even if it IS dying. It’s considered vandalism.

        Only in the last few years have lawmakers begun to extend the laws that allow people to break children out of cars, so that those laws cover animals too.

        @MinnFinn, the high temperature of record yesterday was 79 everywhere I’ve checked. My husband is also in Vancouver, where he travels for business every couple months, and said that it was unseasonably hot and sunny. I’ll see if I can find an online source for the stats. I do full-time animal rescue work and those are on the flyers we hand out every summer.

        So far this year, we’ve seen five dog deaths from being left in hot cars and dozens suffering from heat stroke.

      • Algernon says:

        @ Samtha

        I didn’t say anyone should break into the car, I said if you’re truly concerned about the animal, go find someone who can help get it out of the car, meaning a cop, security officer, etc. Or call your roadside assistance, they could put you in touch with the proper authorities. There are a lot of options besides “stand around to wait to yell at someone” if you’re really just concerned about the animal, and not waiting to get off on berating someone.

      • MinnFinn says:

        To be absolutely clear, it might have been too hot for the dog to be left in the car. But it might have been comfortable. The U.S. and Canadian justice systems say people are innocent until proven guilty. It strikes me as smug and ignorant for some of you to condemn Beals when you do not have all the facts that work together to determine the interior temp of that car.

        None of knows all of the details that affect the interior temp of a vehicle. Shade, angle of the sun, wind speed, dew point, color and textiles of the car’s interior affect how much heat is absorbed or reflected, how far the windows were cracked, the type of surface on which the car was parked etc. All of these factors together determine the interior temp of that car.

        Samtha, The temp yesterday that you ‘checked everywhere’ is irrelevant. This did not happen yesterday. The dog was left in the car on July 29. Yesterday was not 7/29.

        And Neah23 – Pretty sure you are only interested in defending your position that you know better than anyone (even though you weren’t there and you **don’t have all the facts) that it was too hot in the car for that dog.

        As for getting bit, if I thought the dog was in immediate danger, I would do whatever it takes to get the dog out including risking a bite. Someone could distract the dog on one side of the car while the other person sticks their arm in to unlock and open the door. I don’t care what the local laws are. If the dog is in distress and the authorities haven’t arrived I’ll take the risks. Apparently you would not take any risk but you’d be happy to stand around the vehicle and bitch and argue about it.

      • Crumpet says:

        MinnFinn – the voice of reason. I have loved your posts here.

      • MinnFinn says:

        Thanks Crumpet.

  11. NewWester says:

    The problem is “five minutes” can easily turn into a longer period of time. How many of us have said “I will only be a few minutes” when we go grab a coffee, go to the bank, rush to get milk or food? That will be the day something happens and you come back to your car twenty minutes late. In the heat here in Toronto the past week that would be deadly for a dog in a car.
    This is not meant to shade Jennifer or Kaiser( I love this site btw!!!) who love their dogs like I love mine.

  12. Loopy says:

    What shocks me lately is just how many people leave their babies and children in scorching heat and closed windows in cars. I keep hearing about parents even forgetting they were with them in the vehicle, I find that hard to fathom more than anything.

    • Jess says:

      It is shocking and I can’t imagine doing something like that either, but it can happen to ANYONE. I’ve read a few articles talking about the psychology of it and they say people don’t believe it can happen to them so they don’t take any of the recommended safety steps to prevent it, they can’t imagine doing so horrible and have so much confidence that they won’t even read the safety tips, but it can happen to any of us, a change from normal daycare drop off routine or being distracted by our busy lives is all it takes. This has happened to people from all walks of life, so if any of you reading this have a young child please remember that and read up on it!

      Sorry, rant over!😄

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but I can see that happening. I don’t think it would happen to me just because I am so aware of my ability to completely zone out that I would be terrified of it happening and would tie strings around my fingers and paste a big note on the steering wheel, BUT I remember when a woman who didn’t usually take her baby to daycare forgot he was in the car and just drove to work and left him there and he died – I felt so, so sorry for her. People were just out for her blood and saying surely she did it on purpose and she didn’t care about her child and I was thinking I can completely understand how it could happen.

      • Loopy says:

        @Jess and GNAT , I never thought about that way, I was always of the ‘how irresponsible and reckless can one be’, but of course some knowingly leave their kids in the car for a ‘quick dash’ to somewhere. It reminds me of my driver when I was a kid, after dropping off all my other siblings at their boarding school, he forgot about me because I was the youngest and it was usually my parents who dropped me off, so he drove with me in the back all the way back home.

      • piecesofme says:

        Here’s a link to an amazing write-up about just what you described (the article won a pulitzer in 2009). It will break your heart and open your eyes to how easy it would be for anyone. One thing in this article pointed out was that a couple of nasa scientists invented a low cost sensor that could be installed in car seats, but they couldn’t get any companies interested. The reason – the companies did testing and found that the product wouldn’t sell, because everyone believes they would never do such a thing as forget their baby. So it keeps happening….

      • Chinoiserie says:

        GNAT, I am worried that if I have children one day something like this would happen to me. I keep forgetting things like keys and important events. I am in my early 20s so maybe I will stop being so absent minded but I worry I will not. My teacher just told one day he forgot to drop of his kid to school and noticed only when he got to work so he had to drive back to take the kid there. So that happens to people and a baby is easier to forget since you might not have a routine yet and the baby might not be making any noice.

      • mayamae says:

        GNAT, those stories are just so heart breaking. I saw the police footage of that mom in an interrogation room, and she was just beside herself with guilt. There was another incident recently where a gay couple came home, forgot about the small child in the car, and watched TV for hours before remembering the child. It was an accident, but I’m sure some extremists turned it into an indictment on gay adoption.

        An unfortunate side effect of these tragedies, is the idiot here in Georgia who “forgot” his child, and committed pre-meditated murder. He almost got away with it. His big mistake was going to a fast foot chain first, and ordering the kid some food. Hard to claim you forgot when you’re feeding him.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        My absent-mindedness didn’t get better with age, but I did get better at living with it. I have ADD, so I get in this mental zone where I’m just not “present” or paying attention to what I’m doing. I just have habits that I never break – I put everything on my calendar and I check it every morning, I always put my keys back in my handbag after I take them out, when I leave the house to go somewhere, instead of just roaming off in a daze, I ask myself “where am I going and what do I need when I get there?” It’s a pain in the ass but I have actually been called super organized. If only they knew. Good luck.

      • Crumpet says:

        GNAT, a local man who worked near me had his toddler in the back of his van and was supposed to drive his son to daycare. He didn’t normally do the daycare run, and on his way to work his child fell asleep, he completely zoned and drove to work on automatic pilot. It was only as he was returning to his car that evening when it dawned on him what he had done. He and his wife were devastated. The police investigated and found him guilty of negligence only. He honestly just forgot. People were calling for his head. They didn’t understand why his wife forgave him and stayed with him. And when they had another child, they were yelling that he should have sterilized himself. I read an interview where he said that it never ceases to haunt him how his son must have died – what he went through alone in that car. But people make mistakes, you know? Kids and dogs are hot buttons for people. Just hang around pet bulletin boards and nursing newsgroups to see the fireworks. I think we all have a very deep seated fear of harming our child (or pet), and when we see someone else do it we take it as an opportunity to eviscerate them in order to make ourselves feel better. WE would never be that stupid or forgetful.

    • laura in LA says:

      Babies, dogs, even adult people in decent health suffer the effects of heat rising in a car on a sunny day:

      Now, these people could press a button when they started to panic and wanted to get out of the car. Can you imagine how it is then for a baby or a dog who can’t do this? Even if they’re not dying, and who wants to let it get to that point, they’re still suffering.

  13. Jane says:

    I live in Vancouver. We have been having unseasonably hot weather. Sorry, it was a LOT warmer that day than Ms. Beals is letting on. The individuals who approached her had a reason to be concerned. The whole thing was caught on film by a local news reporter, who, btw, discovered the dog. No one knew it was an actor’s pet. They were simply concerned. And it was longer than five minutes.

    • Nina says:

      Thank you! Another Vancouverite here, it was blistering hot that day.

      • Lady D says:

        Yup, she is full of it, it’s been hotter than Hades here. Hopefully she learned something.

      • MinnFinn says:

        The recorded actual high temp in Vancouver CA on that day which was 7/29 was 75F (24C).

      • Deedee says:

        How can 75F or 24C be described as blistering hot?

      • Neah23 says:


        It depends on the humidity and how hot it actually was that day especially if it’s a dry heat. I’m in NY and we had days when was supposed to 80F and but turns out to be in the high 90’s

      • Deedee says:

        I now about humidity. What’s confusing about this story is Beals mentions the morning and is wearing a jacket in the video. The man in the video who confronts her appears to be wearing long sleeves. What makes it difficult to tell is he is standing in the shade. I don’t get “blistering hot” from that. The photo above that shows the Tweet is timestamped at 2:40. Was the photo taken then or posted later?

      • taxi says:

        There are big variations in temperature based on the location of the thermometer within the town. On a rooftop? Near the waterfront? In the middle of an asphalt parking lot with reflected heat? For Vancouverites used to cooler temps, 73F (or 75) might seem “blistering hot.” For most of the rest of us, it’s quite moderate.

      • Ixia says:

        The Weather Network (the go-to for weather in Ontario at least) lists Vancouver as 26.2 C (79 F) on July 29. The dog is lucky that so many people noticed it and cared – it’s better to err on the side of caution when dealing with extreme heat (not that 26 is roasting, but no one knows what the temp was in the car). While it doesn’t sound like the dog was actually in danger this time, imagine if you were a bystander and didn’t do anything and later heard the dog had died?

    • nicole says:

      I’m glad people are pointing out the temperature inaccuracies in her story. It has been so hot. And anyone wearing jackets the last few days should probably see a doctor.

    • Shirleygail says:

      I live in Vancouver. We are in the midst of an unprecedented heat wave, breaking records right, left and centre. She was caught being careless in a place where we are still recovering from SIX dogs in a dog-walker’s truck dying from heat stroke. Pardon us if we are still a little edgy . My dog stays home alone, much to her disgust, the second the temperature hits 17 degrees C.
      I want to bring her. She always comes to work with me and waits in the car (I go from job site to job site, and we both love our “joy breaks” when we hit up a park for a little play time in between clients). But her longevity and safety is more important than my wants. Jennifer ought to be saying Thank You for your caring Heart. That she is this defensive says to me she knows she was in the wrong and simply embarrassed. Naughty girl!

      • laura in LA says:

        I hate to say it, but dogwalkers are some of the worst offenders, and some seem to think it’s their “business” to do this!

      • REEEELY?? says:

        I know someone who left his three dogs in his car in the driveway “for five minutes” which became overnight and into the next day; he just plain forgot. We’ve all heard these horrible stories, so let’s just not get defensive and instead be grateful that people now care! I actully find her letter smug and condescending, like “how dare you notice my dog’s discomfort, I’m famous and special and can do errands in under 5 minutes”.

    • laura in LA says:

      Thank you, Vancouverites, for clarifying this.

    • yvr says:

      I live in West Van (where this happened) and vouch that it’s been really hot here. The block where she parked is filled with mostly nail salons. I really hope she wasn’t getting a mani/pedi while that dog was in the car.

    • littlestar says:

      I was in Vancouver on the weekend, when it was rainy/overcast – how did I manage to miss the heat wave?!

      I can’t fault the bystanders for being concerned. Luckily everything turned out to be okay. But just think of all the instances where bystanders didn’t step in, and things ended tragically. Better to be wary than not care at all.

    • Kloops says:

      This. She took a risk and got caught. It was far hotter than she states in her car and witnesses disputed her time frame. People can kick and scream all they want bc they WANT to take their pets in the car with them. The scientific fact is that cars heat rapidly in the sun and pets overheating and dying is a real problem. She’s embarrased and she should be. Leave the dog at home.

  14. Kathy says:

    My dog wants to go with me everywhere. He gets very grumpy if I won’t take him. But you know what? Anything over 65 degrees and he stays home. Poor guy, but he’ll live. And that’s the point.

    • Nona says:

      Yep, same here. I have three rescue dogs, all mixed breeds, and they tolerate heat differently—my German shepherd mix has the least tolerance for hot weather. The only time she gets a car ride in the summer is when I do something like drive to the gas station to get gas for the lawn mower. I’m right there watching her. I never step away. Otherwise, all her rides (and runs—she loves to run with me) are in cool temps.

    • zinjojo says:

      Same thing. Once we’re into the warmer months, and the days are past 65, my pups stay home — even though they LOVE riding in the car. One of my dogs is a malamute/great pyrenees mix so I’m careful even of when I take him for walks — has to be early morning because once it’s 70, it’s too hot for the big fuzzy guy.

    • MMB says:

      Same here Kathy, my Michigan born Husky had a rude awakening when we moved to L.A. several years ago. He used to go everywhere with me (within reason) and once here, I would usually just take him through the In-N-Out drive through for a plain burger & vanilla shake. Then leave him happy at home while I ran back out & did my grocery shopping. If ever I had to go in somewhere for a short amount of time, I’d take my extra set of keys, lock the door and have the air cranking. He loved it and I never once returned to discover any nosy assed looky-loos congregating around my car ready to scold & berate. Oh well, sadly Orion has since passed and our new rescue (Boxer) doesn’t like ANY type of car rides. He’s perfectly happy laying on the couch napping while his stupid humans run the roads… and bring him treats of course.

  15. Jess says:

    Oh my god, people need to calm the f*ck down sometimes! I’m so over this “document everything and shame everyone so I can post online and pat myself on the back for being a hero” mentality. The window is down and it’s not 100 degrees, and it doesn’t take long to get laundry.

    • Regina Phelange says:

      Totally agree!

    • laura in LA says:

      Jess, even with the windows cracked on an 80-degree day, a car midday as this was parked in the sun heats up 20 degrees in less than 10 minutes. And a dog’s temperature rises higher in this instance than a human’s because their bodies do not cool as effectively. If a dog is panting, it’s already getting overheated, and it can go into distress quickly.

      Being a dog owner, foster and petcare person here in LA, where it’s at least 75-80 year-round, I know this all too well.

      And how is anyone supposed to know that the owner’s only gone to get her laundry?! It strikes me as rather selfish that someone considers their dry-cleaning more important than their dog. And it seems to me these bystanders did what anyone should, just take a photo and mention it to the owner when he/she returns.

      It seems to me like you’re the one who needs to calm the f*ck down if you get so hot and bothered about people trying to help.

      • ican'tsnap says:

        laura, you are awfully invested in this story.

        Yes, it is GREAT that people care enough about animals to check it out and make sure the dog’s okay. BUT, you hang around a few minutes, you don’t need to post on Twitter and call the police before you even have a full grasp of the situation.

      • laura in LA says:

        “Awfully invested”? Of course I am. That’s because this happens all the time, especially in summer.

        Please read my other posts before dismissing my concerns and those of others here. If you don’t care, then why do you even bother commenting?

    • hogtowngooner says:

      Totally agreed Jess, particularly about the “calling themselves a hero” bit. The dog was/is fine, and that’s what matters here.

    • ican'tsnap says:

      THIS. The public-shaming trend is completely out of control.

  16. Sam says:

    I’m going to go with not fine. I get that sometimes you need to run in somewhere, but I also know that “5 minutes” can turn into more really quickly – happens to me all the time.

    And Beals might not be super rich, but she still does okay. I’m presume that LA and the surrounding areas have services to watch your dog is you’re going out. Could she not spring for one if she knew she would be running errands? And even if it was an emergency and she had to stop, wouldn’t leashing the dog up in front of the store actually be slightly more humane (or even bringing it in and asking somebody up at the front to just watch him for one quick minute? There are a lot of things that would go through my mind before leaving him in the car.

    • Colette says:

      It clearly says she was in Vancouver,what does this have to do with LA?

    • Msmlnp says:

      “Services that watch your dog when you go out”

      Are you saying she should get a sitter for errands? Like every time she goes to the bank, grocery store, pharmacy, post office. Etc.???

      It wasn’t LA, it was Vancouver. This is a nonissue, and why would you also think someone at a store would step away from their job to watch a dog?

  17. eribra says:

    I have a 10 month old black lab and took him to a doggie day care cause I couldn’t bear for him to be in a crate all day. I would leave him in the car while I took my son into our picked him up from human day care. Once it started getting hot though, I picked the human up first. My hours have changed and I’m home with him but I don’t take him on errands cause it’s summer and is hot. Have you seen the videos of people sitting in hot cars? Can not imagine my baby cooking to death in my car. I feel like it’s ok they confronted her, better hurt feelings or embarrassment than a dead dog.

    • laura in LA says:

      Exactly, Eribra. That video of NFL player Tyrann Mathieu is pretty convincing enough that even people overheat and suffer in the car.

  18. Eleonor says:

    For God’s sake that dog is fine !

    • Po says:

      Thank you! I don’t know what the tempura ture was that day but the windows were very obviously cracked and the dog is fine. One point that needs to be made is that berating someone for this only causes one response: defensiveness. The filming and twèeting were overboard. They were just trying to embarrass someone and maybe they think embarrassing people will do the trick but in this case I think it will just lead to alot of people saying “f*** you dog fanatics” and that’s not what we need right now, especially with all of the dogs being mistreated.

      • Lady D says:

        It was between 85-90 degrees. What temp is acceptable for animals to suffer in for you?

      • Jay says:

        LOL suffer? Seriously? Dogs aren’t that fragile. It was in the 70s and the windows were cracked. People need to chill the f out.

    • laura in LA says:

      But how do you know the dog is fine?

      In my own experience, my first dog, a young shepherd, suffered heatstroke on an 80-degree day like this one was – and he wasn’t even in the car!

      A dog panting means that it’s getting hot and trying to cool itself.

      Most people don’t want to embarrass or risk confrontation with anyone, they just want to help a dog who may be going into distress.

      By the way, “with all the dogs being mistreated”, what are YOU doing to help besides being all judgmental yourself and calling everyone else “dog fanatics”?

      Lemme guess – nothing.

      • Eleonor says:

        The dog is calmly sitting on the passenger sit, which means the owner let him do whatever he wants, here I see a dog who can put his big nose and his mouth outside the window, so he can get air if he wants.
        I had a German sheperd (my beloved Luna who died at the age of 12 FYI) and in summer she used to pant like that, outside and inside our house, because that is their way to cool their body, it doesn’t mean they’re dying. In summer humans sweat, dogs pant.
        If you really think the dog is in distress you keep en eye on the car, and if it’s the case, call the authority.
        Now I have a cat, she travels with me in her cage. During our last trip we stopped two or three times, because I needed a toilet, it took me about ten minutes. I’ve left her in the car with the windows opened like that, I suppose I am an awful pet owner.

      • laura in LA says:

        Eleonor, please read the posts above from those who were actually in Vancouver on that day and say it was a lot hotter than she claimed.

        By the way, I’ve been a dog owner for many years as well and probably did things I’d never do today because I/we back then didn’t know. So if I seem judgmental myself, it’s only because I’ve seen or experienced what can happen as a result.

        And if I can help a dog or their person avoid traumatic situations (or legal troubles), then I will.

      • Po says:

        My comment about dog fanatics was meant for those who would take an extreme position coming down on the other side of the issue because they felt as though they had to defend themselves or someone else. If you’re asking me what I would do if I thought an animal was in danger, it’s depends on the situation. I would either call the police or if I wasn’t sure if the danger was immediate I would have probably waited there calmly, with no twèeting or recording and let the person know that I felt the animal was in danger. That’s all.

      • laura in LA says:

        The problem is, Po, that no matter what these byśtanders do or don’t do, they’re put in a tough spot.

        Is the dog in danger? Could it go into distress quickly? Where’s the owner? How long has he/she been gone? Do I take photos? Should I call the police? What if the owner gets upset with me for even just waiting by the car?

        Yes, this last instance happened to me, and the simple answer is that if pet owners would simply stop doing this, then there wouldn’t be any problem.

  19. Ms. Turtle says:

    IDK the specifics of this particular case, but doesn’t it feel like we live in the age of social media vigilante-ism? Like watch your backs, you could be the next target for ppl to mass shame! The outrage over the lion earlier this week is but one example. I’ve stopped taking my dog on errands for the summer. It’s dangerous but also I don’t want anyone yelling at me.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I think the outrage over a lion being illegally lured out of his protected area so some fat witless dentist could shoot him with an arrow, let him bleed and suffer for hours and hours until he shot him with a gun and decapitated him was more than justified. This is hardly the same thing.

      • Ms. Turtle says:

        GNAT, of course the lion killing was horrific and immoral and illegal. My point wasn’t that ppl were upset by what happened, I was also disgusted. I just mean the vigilante part of it. Ppl threatening him death via social media, sharing his home address (that he shares with his kids), etc. I have no problem with the authorities in Africa extraditing him and jailing him and throwing away the key. Just how ppl on social media glom on to the issue of the day and go nuts with group think. For instance, 600+ lions were killed in Africa last year and some of those were prob poached and the masses on Twitter couldn’t have cared less until it happened to the one highlighted. Sorry, my point got muddled.

      • Kitten says:

        I love how right wing-nut jobs latched onto the death of Cecil the lion to try to make it about abortion. Ugh.

        Yeah that dude deserves all the outrage and then some. I heard that they want to extradite him to Zimbabwe so that he’ll face charges. I sure hope so.

      • mayamae says:

        They’re talking extradition with the dentist. I saw a picture, and he just looks so smug with his super dark tan and blinding white teeth. What an asshole.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh, I see, Ms. Turtle, sorry to have misinterpreted. Yes, I do agree that there is a scary gang up mentality in social media that seems to bring out the worst in people.

        Kitten, ugh, really they are using it to say what? Let me guess – people care about lions but not babies?

        I hope they do extradite him and pit him in jail. Agree mayamae he looks like the total asshole he is.

      • Kitten says:

        “Let me guess – people care about lions but not babies?”

        Yup exactly, GNAT.

        “For instance, 600+ lions were killed in Africa last year and some of those were prob poached and the masses on Twitter couldn’t have cared less until it happened to the one highlighted.”

        @Ms Turtle-To be fair, some of us like myself have been condemning canned hunting for quite a while now. I’ve been following Big Cat Rescue on social media for years and it’s a issue they discuss often. Additionally, I regularly donate to an organization that seeks to preserve African wildlife and signed the petition to end trophy hunting.

        Sometimes it takes a media-hyped tragedy to draw people’s attention to an important issue. Due to the high-profile nature of Cecil’s death, people are now pushing for legislature to end canned hunts, big cat breeding, and trophy hunts. How is that a bad thing? People didn’t know before and now they do. If anything, that’s a small silver lining in this senseless tragedy.

        The death threats, however, are entirely inexcusable.

      • Ms. Turtle says:

        Kitten, I agree that the killing bringing the issue to light is good. The social media aspect was the part I am concerned with. Death threats on Facebook, publicly sharing his home address, things of that nature. Same thing with Jennifer Beals. Videoing and photographing her and then posting it to social media. It just all takes it to another level. Not that we shouldn’t be talking about animal rights. KWIM?

      • Kitten says:

        Oh I agree, Ms Turtle. I hate social media precisely for that reason–it is such an invasion of privacy on so many levels. Also, I detest over-sharing.
        I do think you’re right that social media gives crazy people an easy way to hide. Sadly, the people who make death threats do NOTHING for the cause they purport to care so deeply about, quite the opposite actually.

      • Ange says:

        And even sadder now they’re saying Cecil’s brother Jericho has been killed by poachers as well.

    • Soundspretty says:

      You’re right. I think what makes social media so scary is that ANYTHING can be shared, whether the information is correct or not. Thousands of people repost images and stories without knowing all the facts. I’m not referring to the lion case per say, but sometimes people jump on these viral stories and they don’t know anything at all about the situation. How many times has news turned up being “fake” because some joker took a picture and made up a story about it, and thousands of people shared. Not saying some people don’t deserve it, but social media can get to the point where it destroys lives, and in a lot of cases it’s not even deserved.

    • V4Real says:

      That freaking dentist deserves to be shamed. I hope he loses his business. He has also killed a bear and a walrus according to the papers. He likes going after big game that are almost extinct. He’s a piece of s-it.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah he wanted to kill an elephant after he killed Cecil but his guides couldn’t find an elephant big enough so they gave up.

      • MinnFinn says:

        I live in Minneapolis and that dentist’s office is a suburb of Mpls so there are at least a few updates to that fiasco every day. Go to as they are following this closely.

        His office has been closed for several days now. Not clear if he plans to re-open. Lots of ugly history coming out about him. One of his staffers sued him for sexual harassment and was awarded about $127k in a settlement. The dentist plead guilty to poaching a bear in Wisconsin. Was also fined for fishing without a license in MN. A season license in MN is about $50.

        I have a dental hygienist friend I’ll see at my local off-leash park tonight. She does not work for Dr. Palmer but I know she’ll have some insider info on him.

      • Kitten says:

        Wow…I had no idea MinnFinn. Man, and his penchant for trophy-hunting was enough of a reason to hate him but it’s even worse than I thought. This guy sounds like a piece of work.

        Please report back with any gossip!

      • Neah23 says:

        Chirs Pratt and the Dentist would make great friends because it’s his dream to to kill Afica big 5 animals.

      • littlestar says:

        A walrus?! Like WTF! Just when I think I can’t hate a stranger I’ve never met even more than I do now… A walrus! And holy F, they couldn’t find an elephant big enough *shaking my head*. My parents have a friend who killed an elephant and I absolutely loathe him.

        I’m curious to know how much business the dentist lost and if he’ll ever be able to recover from this. I do feel very sorry for his children, if he has any. Their lives are probably complete hell right now.

      • Kitten says:

        “Chirs Pratt and the Dentist would make great friends because it’s his dream to to kill Afica big 5 animals.”

        Yup, Neah, and that’s one of many reasons why I cannot STAND Chris Pratt.

        @Littlestar-I do believe he has kids but he’s divorced. I got the impression that the mother has primary custody…

  20. Twinkle says:

    It looks fine to me (says the Custodian and Life Guardian of one chocolate, and two black, Labradors [and many more before them]). Where it is a crime is if the windows are not left down at all. But given that all four were down – no issue. Whatsoever. Whomever Tweeted that needs to mind their own business.

    Jennifer’s dog does not look stressed!.

  21. JudyK says:

    I think this is a non-story. I’m all over people who leave dogs and children in hot cars for even a few minutes, but this doesn’t qualify. Beautiful dog.

    I’ve never liked Jennifer Beals for a ridiculous reason. She looks exactly like a girl my ex-husband cheated on me with…I always wondered why he wanted to see FLASHDANCE and then I found a pic of a bank Christmas party he told me spouses were not invited to. There he was with his arm wrapped around “Jennifer Beals.” Still have copies of the pics and letters I found and used in our divorce.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I don’t think that’s a dumb reason for you not to like her. She reminds you of something horrible. It’s not her fault, but seeing her is painful for you. I hope my ex and yours both get jock itch and two broken arms.

    • JudyK says:

      If the story is true, as presented, and I’ve been gone all morning and am now seeing posts that are saying it’s not, I don’t think it qualifies. Personally, I would never leave a dog in my car for any reason, but she said the windows were down and it was not that hot, plus she was gone only a few minutes and could see him from her vantage point the whole time.

  22. Kate says:

    When I see a dog in a car on a hot day I’ll hang around for as long as I can to make sure the owner comes back before things turn bad. On the rare occasion no one comes back before the animal starts showing the first signs of distress, I’ll go ask for them in the surrounding businesses. If that doesn’t work, I call the police.

    What I don’t do is abuse the owner, leave snarky notes or film the whole thing. The owners who come back within minutes wouldn’t know I was watching, because I don’t stand waiting at their car to tell them off.

  23. original kay says:

    I’m a cat person. I don’t enjoy dogs, at all. One knocked me down when I was little, and that was it- no dogs for me.

    So while it’s nice for people to take their dogs with them, and leave them unattended in cars with the windows partially rolled down, it’s not nice for those of us that have a legitimate fear of dogs. I cannot count the number of times I have parked, gotten out, only to be accosted by someone else’s pet with barking, growling, staring (yes, staring, it’s unnerving to be stared at by a dog).

    Leave your dog at home if you know you have errands and will be leaving him unattended in your car.

    • Kitten says:

      I have a story for you then.

      First, I have to say that I was bitten by a Goldie when I was 11, delivering the newspaper to my neighbor. He actually ran after me as I was pedaling away from him on my bike and bit the back of my calf. It was terrifying.

      Anyway, I don’t have a fear of dogs but I get really nervous when dogs I don’t know run towards me.

      So I have a neighbor with a Golden Doodle who is ALWAYS unleashed. That dog will come barreling out of the house or out of her car, running up to me at full speed, barking ferociously. This has happened four times now. The dog has never bitten me and presumably only wants to play but it jumps up on me and barks loudly and frankly, scares the p*ss out of me. The owner is always there to see it happen and she NEVER apologizes, just says “she won’t bite, don’t worry” as if that’s supposed to make it all ok.

      Last time the dog did it I just stopped and glared at her, shaking my head angrily. Her response was to take the dog’s face and hit it several times with an open palm saying “NO! NO!”. Ugh. I don’t know if she just wanted to show me “look, I DO discipline her” or what. But like, yo lady don’t hit your dog on my account, PLEASE. If you know your dog runs up to strangers just keep it on a damn leash! How hard is that? I have a huge problem with unlashed dogs in areas with clear leash laws. Save it for the dog park, guys.

      You know what they say: there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. This woman is an example of that. Abusing your dog isn’t effective discipline, clearly.

      Sorry for the long rant…you just reminded me of how much I hate my neighbor lol.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        What a tool. Like the dog can figure out why one day she lets him jump on you and next time she punches him in the face. You’re right – there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.

      • eribra says:

        Same experience- only it was a rat terrier and the bite was on my behind with bleeding scratches all down the back of my thigh and calf. My mom took me to deliver papers in the station wagon for 2 weeks. If you have a dog who will charge people- friendly or not- leash it!!! I am way more nervous with little dogs but I think they should all be leashed.

      • Kitten says:

        Exactly, GNAT, how is that consistent discipline? That’s just sending the dog mixed messages in the form of physical abuse.

        @eribra- Sorry that happened to you. I’m also more fearful of the little ones because they tend to go for my ankles when I’m running.

  24. NGBoston says:

    Let’s leave her in there and see how she likes it! No excuse for leaving children or pets in cars.

    • laura in LA says:

      I think everyone here who doubts this should test themselves:

      On an 80-degree day, try sitting in your car, with the windows cracked an inch or so, at noontime in the sun, then see how long it takes until you start sweating and feeling uncomfortable.

      It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

      • Robin says:

        And don’t forget to put on a fur coat, a nice thick one, like German Shepherds have.

      • ican'tsnap says:

        laura, laura, laura,

        I also live in LA. I often arrive at my destination very early (because I am paranoid about unexpected traffic & being late), and so will sit in my car for anywhere from 5-30 minutes to kill time reading or playing on my phone. Because I am also extremely frugal (and, you know, the planet), I don’t sit in an idling car. I put up my car windshield shades, roll the windows down a bit and I am usually TOTALLY FINE. That’s sort of the same situation in these photos – dog is in the shade, windows are down at least 4 inches (not just 1 inch!).

        Of course (of course!) I am sweltering if I’m in direct sun or don’t crack my windows far enough.

        Oh, and finally, as someone posted, the official recorded high that day was 75.

        I don’t know why you’ve taken this up as your personal cause, nor why I have now taken up responding to your posts as my own… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • laura in LA says:

        My “personal cause”? It’s because I do animal rescue and petcare all over LA, so I know what I’m talking about…

        And you do, what exactly? I mean, besides being patronizing and annoying. Why don’t you pester someone else here.

        But please stop responding to my comments because they say nothing much at all. Then go sit in your car and swelter for all I care.

      • Jay says:

        Seems to me you’re the annoying patronizing one here, laura. You’ve made essentially the same comment a dozen times on this thread. People are allowed to have opinions different from yours.

      • laura in LA says:

        Yes, Jay, “people are allowed to have different opinions”, but saying “laura laura laura” as if I’m stupid and my own don’t matter?

        That’s “patronizing annoying”, since you seem unable to comprehend what that means…

        Oh, jay jay jay, you silly, small-minded person! There, how does that feel? Sorry if you don’t like or can’t accept the truth.

  25. Quinn says:

    We have two rescue dogs and three rescue cats… I LOVE them!!! They are family!! But before my Australian Blue Heeler died years ago, her life purpose was to GOOOOO anyplace we could let her go…her favorite place was the car! We always rolled down the windows and my husband even mounted a water bowl for her. I think my dog would have died of a broken heart FAR faster than the heat, had we left her at home. (And no, we didn’t take her in scorching heat…but up to about 80 degrees, we would park in the shade, windowns down for up to 20 minutes.) Our dog was totally fine, always. People fail to remember that dogs are outside animals and have survived in all types of climates. No, I wouldn’t take my Husky out in the heat for long, and nor would I leave my Chihuahua out in the cold. Common sense really has to be used in these cases…I’ve seen more ire given to people who leave pets in the car than those who leave their small children. It has gotten a tad nuts.

  26. Irene says:

    I’m sorry, but isn’t it common knowledge at this point that a car in the sun can reach 100 degree temperatures in like 10 minutes, even if it’s only 75 degrees outside? she was in the wrong here, not the people who called the police.

    • Miran says:

      It’s in the shade….and the windows are down several inches. Apples and oranges.

      • Jen says:

        It’s been proven windows down dont matter.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        How could having the windows down not matter? Not that I think you should leave any animal or person in a hot car, but I would think having the windows down affects the temperature on the inside of the car. If it didn’t, we would all be dropping dead of heat stroke just from being outside. I mean, tell me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • laura in LA says:

      Agreed, Irene!

  27. Soundspretty says:

    The issue is not people leaving their dogs in cars, but people leaving them for hours on end or when the temperature is extremely hot. My rule of thumb is, if I wouldn’t sit in the car (even with the windows down) then I’m not going to leave my dog in there. And if my purpose is to go shopping (for more than a quick run in and grab) then I’m not going to take my dog with me. There’s no reason to.

  28. Kit says:

    Veterinarian here. Don’t do this. Ever. No excuses.

    • ORLY says:

      Thank you Kit!!!

    • laura in LA says:

      Thank you, Kit!

    • JudyK says:

      Now, here’s someone I will listen to! Thanks.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      But that’s ridiculous. Don’t ever do something because under certain circumstances it could be harmful? Why not do it 60 degree weather? You might as well say don’t take your dog in the car ever because you might have a wreck and it would get killed or don’t walk your dog because it might get run over by a car.

  29. Miran says:

    The windows are fine, he’s in the shade. That’s doesn’t look like a distressed pant, that’s a happy, wants to explore pant.

  30. Nicolette says:

    And in Jersey yesterday a mother left her 2 year old in her car with one window cracked while she took her other child and went into an air conditioned Costco to do her shopping. Her cart was pretty full so clearly she was in there a while. It has been oppressively hot and humid here in the Northeast during this heat wave and just getting into a parked car waiting for your AC to cool it off is miserable. Other shoppers heard the girl crying and an officer came over and broke the window to get the little girl out. The mother came out shortly after and just said “Sorry” as people berated her telling her her child could have died. She was arrested for neglect, the little girl was taken to a hospital and then released to her father. Sometimes the intervention from strangers can save a life.

    • Robin says:

      And the mother had another child with her! She took one child along and left the other in the car!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Well, you shouldn’t leave a two year old child alone in a car at any temperature for any reason. That’s illegal and it should be.

  31. Adrien says:

    The dog’s fine. To cool him down, Jen placed him on a chair then she pulled some cord to dump water on the dog.

  32. Jen says:

    I’m sorry I have no problem with her being called out for this. It’s wasn’t too hot, the windows rolled down, only 5 minutes? Fine. BUT how do people know it was only five minutes? I would rather people cared and do something then walk by thinking it’s fine and have an animal die. And a car in the sun, REGARDLESS of outside temp, can heat up very quickly. Windows being rolled down do nothing. So please spare me the windows being rolled down it wasn’t very warm. I’m glad it was only 5 minutes but minimizing the factors is unintelligent. Car temps can rise almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes
    if you wouldn’t leave a toddler in the car, why leave your pet? Sorry, a bit off point but I stand by saying people didn’t know she was only gone a few minutes and I’d rather people were safe than sorry. I feel like her statements also falsly educate people with half truths or myths.

  33. Chelly says:

    I dont see a problem with it

  34. Mrs. Darcy says:

    It’s tricky, I mean if it was really only five minutes in that heat it’s fine. Sometimes people overreact. But it sounds like it might have been longer. So many dogs die this way that it’s hard for me to be upset with the people looking out for them. Instead of being so defensive about how awesome she is with animals maybe she should do a psa or charity work for the dangers of this, because it’s not something people should be lax about.

  35. Robin says:

    This veterinarian says, not acceptable. The cabin of the car appears to be in the sun. It was a warm day; 73F is not “cool”. The windows are not open very far at all. The dog has a thick coat. Beals SAYS she was only gone for five minutes, but who knows if that’s true or not. She can try to brag about her history with dogs all she wants, but she DID jeopardize her dog’s health.

    • laura in LA says:

      Thank you for saying all this as a vet yourself. The only appropriate response from Jennifer Beals is:

      “I’m sorry, and I appreciate your concerns…I love my dogs, and it won’t happen again.”

    • Leigh says:

      Thanks Robin, great to hear from a vet on how serious this situation was! Don’t leave your animals or kids in the car!

  36. Michelle says:

    I’m a major animal lover, completely obsessed with my cat and still mourning the loss of my two dogs. With that being said, I find a lot of the “animal activists” as they refer to themselves to be a bit overzealous these days. Where I live, people I actually know of (friends of friends) have now taken up this cause and committed vigilante acts, like breaking into people’s backyards and taking dogs that they assume are abused or abandoned, and in more than a few cases, jumping the shark and taking people’s outdoor cats to shelters. My neighbor had two outdoor cats who happily hung out on her front porch all day, until some random woman scooped them up and took them to a shelter that was all the way at the other end of the state. I respect and appreciate it that a lot of people mean well, but in my personal experience, some people are jumping to conclusions a bit too quickly lately.

    73 degrees with all four windows open for 5 minutes is not a problem, especially since the dog was in the shade. If they were using panting as a gauge for the condition of the dog, they must not have much experience with dogs because both of my dogs would pant like crazy out of excitement whenever they were in the car.

  37. Teri says:

    It’s obvious that this dog is in no distress in the picture shown. If she was hot she would be panting heavily. She barely has her mouth open. She looks perfectly comfortable. Some dogs pant(breath with their mouths open) normally. I’ve had German Shepherds and they do breath like this when they aren’t hot at all. It doesn’t say how long it was before she got back after this picture was taken, but at this point the dog is in no danger. It’s nice that people are concerned, but ridiculous that anyone made a big deal about it in this case.

  38. amy says:

    It’s possible that the journalist and other bystanders were a little over the top about this, but there’s a lot of context for why people in the Greater Vancouver area are so vigilant about dogs left in cars. Last summer a dog walker claimed 6 dogs under her care were kidnapped during the 10 minutes she left them in the truck to go to the washroom. The tragic fact is that she left them in her truck for hours; when she discovered they’d all died of heat stroke, she hid their bodies in a ditch and lied to the owners and police for several days. This was an extreme case, to be sure, but ever since then British Columbians have been understandably hyperaware of and very quick to react to dogs left alone in cars.


  39. Robin says:

    There’s a video out showing that the car was almost entirely in the sun, parked on the street.

    • Firebomber says:

      She’s lying. And guilty. I live In Vancouver west side and it was very hot that day. She was gone more than five minutes and the windows or window was only rolled down a little ways. The dog was panting and people were watching the car. When Beals finally came out she basically brushed the guy off saying this is Dunbar which means what? you’re in a wealthy part of town and dogs don’t die in heated cars?

  40. manda says:

    It’s one of those things now. I just leave my dog at home, or I bring someone with me who can sit with her. It’s not worth the drama

  41. Tessa says:

    I know it must be annoying to get a note like that but I still feel happy that people are not indifferent and do care.

  42. Leigh says:

    Yes, people can be busybodies and it seems in this instance the dog was likely in no danger, but even a “cool” 73 (which really isn’t that cool) is enough for temperatures to skyrocket inside the car causing heat prostration and possibly death for animals (or children). See this chart:

    And cracking the windows a “few inches” is not enough to cool a car or allow air circulation. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself, or watch this video of a prominent veterinarian documenting his experience in a hot car.

    The point is, never leave your animal companion in a parked car, period. Accidents can happen, something could delay you, your dog could be especially susceptible to the heat and at the end of the day is it worth your dog’s possible death, your heartbreak and then possible cruelty charges?

  43. lisa says:

    i often think i will just be a minute, then something unforeseeable happens and the errand takes longer.

  44. Jordan says:

    People are getting crazy with this stuff! I have 2 dogs who love to ride in the car. I used to take them with while running errands all the time. Now, more often than not, I leave them at home because I don’t want some crazy making a scene. People act like a dog can’t ever be in a car. As long as they have air flow and it’s only a couple minutes, it’s fine. Cold or hot, a dog should never be left in a car with the windows totally closed.

    • Firebomber says:

      I agree but in this case she was in the wrong.

      • Teri says:

        You seem very sure of your information. If it was 73 and 5 minutes there is no problem. Do you know otherwise?

      • Firebomber says:

        I live there and happened to be down the same street when this happened. There was a reporter on the street wondering about the dog before the guy who called the authorities even showed up. It was a very warm day. Too warm for a dog to be left in a car with the windows rolled more than halfway up.

      • Teri says:


  45. Penny Lane says:

    I can’t believe this is even a question. It was 2pm and 79 degrees – you don’t leave any kind of mammal (Particularly one wearing a fur coat who can’t sweat) trapped in a car. Period. Even for ‘five minutes’, especially since it was apparently longer than that.

    It’s really irritating how narcissistics think that the rules of society – and of physics! – don’t apply to them. Why didn’t she take the dog with her to the dry cleaners and then just tie up for a second outside? Was it because she doesn’t actually care about the dog and only thinks of and cares about herself? Did it not even occur to her to put her helpless, dependent dog’s needs first?

    • OVWonKanoobi says:

      LOL. Jennifer you’re fine. You know how SOME folk are. Pressed about the wrong damn things.

      I have lived in B.C. but I am Philly native so we actually know what hot summers and humidity is all about. 73 degrees is just not that hot to me, but whatever. Maybe having a high melanin content makes the difference so that seems cool to me, but whatever.

      This is much ado about nothing. Ms. Beals is awesome and unlike some people is not a judgmental freak who thinks she knows everything. Team Jennifer. Never thought I would say that.

    • Leigh says:

      Well said, loved the fur coat part especially, common sense, folks!

  46. Jns says:

    Work in a veterinary ER as a tech in the ICU. have been seeing heat stroke dogs- some arriving dead in rigor, some almost dead. It’s really expensive to treat, not just a matter of cooling off the dog and sending them home. Heat stroke dogs run high risk of developing DIC, disseminated intravascular coagulation, where the body uses up all its clotting factors and once those are depleted, the dog basically bleeds out in its own body. There is also often acute kidney or liver injury. Treatment, depending severity, can involve extensive hospitalization, bloodwork, IV fluids, plasma transfusion, urinary catheter, and possible antibiotics to prevent sepsis. It’s a horrible way to die. The last heat stroke dog we treated cost $8k. The dog initally had to be put on a ventilator to be stabilized.

    If you don’t want to be shocked by the cost of treating your dog for heatstroke, don’t leave them in the car.

  47. S says:


  48. TotallyBiased says:

    At this point, it’s just basic common sense to not leave your dog (or other pet/child/elderly relative) in the car when you leave it for any errands.
    It puts the onus on strangers to keep track of how long you are gone, what the actual temperature is, et cetera.
    Yes, YOU are a responsible pet owner with an alrm set on your watch to ensure you are NOT gone longer than five minutes to the tick, and a thermostat, too, for that matter–but people around you have no way of knowing that.
    All they know is what they can see–and the knowledge that pets have died when no-one stepped up and acted.

    • Crocuta says:

      This. Also, nobody ever leaves their pet or child in a car thinking they are not safe. They all believe they know what they’re doing. Not all do. I’m glad people react. I prefer their overreacting to indifference.

      The best thing to do is just don’t leave your pet in the car. Work around it. It can be done in EVERY situation.

  49. I always take the time to take my pet child Hobow the shelthie home. He depends on me for everything. He is a minature Lassie. In return the neighborhood is now free of miniature burglars. Ha. Ha. Also I love Cecil the lion. And please keep Arturo the polar bear in the public heart.

  50. Crumpet says:

    I left my dachshund in my car in a parking garage once on a cold day. With the windows rolled up because it was cold. And someone left a b*tchy note saying my dog was in danger of suffocating. Gee, I never knew cars were airtight. *snicker*

  51. InvaderTak says:

    Being from Texas I don’t see how she did anything even close to wrong. Our pets here have to deal with 100 degrees in the shade on a breezy day if they need to pee. Its 75 at midnight here. My parents live in a rural area and some people still use sheep/cattle/goat dogs that WORK all day, with their humans. If she really was only on quick run into the dry cleaners then big deal. If all these animal lovers can’t tell the difference between a distressed dog and one that’s fine then I question how much they actually live animals. You should know something about then if you want to judge heir wellbeing.

    That being said, I always call in people here in tx that leave their pets in cars at all. No excuse for that for any length of time this time of year. Leave them at home!

  52. raincoaster says:

    Two things:

    1) It’s “fine” if by that you mean “you get fined in Vancouver for doing that,” because it’s illegal. Like, no time limit. Five minutes, ten years, fifteen seconds, illegal.

    2) I have lived in Vancouver since 1981 and she’s damn lucky someone didn’t steal the dog. People, I love this city, but never, EVER leave anything valuable in a car in Vancouver. Your window will be toast, and your valuable thing will be gone. They even briefly considered making “tourist only” parkades, because tourists don’t get this about our city. Jennifer Beals has lived here for years, so she should know this. One day she’ll come back and find a broken window and no dog.

  53. bored_01 says:

    Hey the occasional mistake is going to happen. Better to err on the dogs side. Jennifer should understand that. People shouldn’t continue to bully her after the fact though. I’m pretty sure she’ll never leave that dog in a car again!

  54. Ms. Lib says:

    Love her new show on TNT – Proof.
    She plays a heart surgeon who is hired by a billionaire tech guy who is dying of cancer to investigate supernatural cases of reincarnation and near-death experiences, hoping to find evidence that death is not the end. Getting to know the characters and so far, not bad.

  55. jinglebellsmell says:

    Babies, dogs…NEITHER should be left in a car at any temperature, IMO.

    They are vulnerable and often abducted, so why would someone think it makes sense to leave them unattended in a vehicle that can be broken into in 5 seconds?

    Take the baby in the store with you; leave the dog at home!

    • Jellybean says:

      My dogs gets three decent walks a day and I work. I could not do this without doing odd jobs on the way. I always consider the temperature and how long I will be. I cannot tie the dogs up outside because they are both adorable and appealing to thieves and one is nervous and I could not guarantee how she would react if she was cornered by an overly familiar child, even though she has never once been aggressive. I consider myself to be a good dog owner and my dogs have a great life, keeping them locked away at home would be cruel.

  56. IfUSaySo says:

    A baby? NEVER. Not once. Aside from babies not being able to control their temps like other animals, the idea of some psycho snatching my kid is the real fear (as I’d never EVER put my child in a dangerously temped car.)

    A dog? I can see being little more lenient. 73 degree with windows cracked for 5 minutes seems OK to me. Anything over 75 degrees and I think leave the AC on or take the doggie out. Cars get hot so damn fast..

  57. Jonathan says:

    I’ve personally rescued dozens of dogs from hot cars, an ex BF of mine was the animal control officer in a town of about 20,000 people. Not all of those dogs lived. It’s a horrible, horrible death.

    Thank Goddess I’d never have to entrust the life or well being of MY dog on some of you flippant risk takers.

    An innocent, helpless being is counting on you for survival. Yeah, you’re just popping away to run errands or whatever, but what if something happens to YOU while your animal is locked in your car? What happens if you’re longer than you expected? Yeah, another being suffers and possibly dies. But your f*cking LAUNDRY or run into the shop is SO important to you.

  58. LAK says:

    She’s aged, or not, very well.