Dehydrated puppy rescued from the boot of a hot car

2013-08-02 00:00

ANIMAL lovers Natasha Potgieter and her nephew, Lee Thompson, did not think twice about answering the pitiful cries of a distressed puppy locked in the boot of a car parked in the burning sun at Grey’s Hospital yesterday morning.

Potgieter and Thompson put their planned hospital visit on hold and set the wheels in motion to save the animal.

About two hours later, the adorable large-breed puppy, thought to be about eight weeks old, was rescued from the vehicle.

Police officers from Town Hill police station broke into the car and handed the yelping pup over to trainee inspector Robyn Holmes of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Potgieter told The Witness that she and her nephew care deeply about animals.

“We had just parked in the parking lot at Grey’s Hospital and were walking towards the hospital to visit a family member at around 10 am, when we heard this little puppy yelping loudly in the car.”

She said it was hot and the car — a hatchback — was parked in direct sunlight.

The puppy was in the boot section of the car and yelped continuously.

“It was awful … One of the windows was open about two centimetres at the top, but you couldn’t even get your finger in,” she said.

Potgieter and Thompson alerted security guards, who said they did not know who owned the car.

She told The Witness that they’d been tempted to break into the car themselves to rescue the crying puppy, but a call to the police established that this would not be legal.

They then managed to get hold of the SPCA, and Holmes and two officers from the Town Hill police station arrived to help.

“The police caused as little damage as was possible to the car. They broke a small triangular window open and were able to reach in to open the door.

“The poor little thing was really squashed into the boot. There was no water or anything in the car,” she said.

Maureen Vida of the SPCA said the puppy was taken to the SPCA for safekeeping and a note was left asking the owner to contact them, but no one had done so by late yesterday.

The puppy was thoroughly examined at the SPCA’s veterinary clinic and was found to be “very hot and dehydrated, but otherwise in good health”.

“Under the Animal Protection Act, it is an offence to transport any animal in the boot of a car. A case has been opened and we are awaiting information regarding the owner of the vehicle,” said Vida.

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