Residents in the Sea Point area are up in arms after a vehicle was spotted parked in the area on Tuesday, February 25 with a dog left alone in the car for an extended period of time.
A picture of the car’s license plate was shared to a Sea Point community group on Facebook on Thursday, February 27 by a concerned local.
The caption that went along with the image was, “These idiots left a puppy locked in a parked car in Seapoint mid-afternoon 32 degrees on Tuesday”.
According to Nicole Joy Ashton a family member of hers saw the dog in the car and spoke to the owners once they returned to no avail.
“It was an elderly family member of ours. He waited for the owner and gave them piece of his mind but was pretty much ignored,” says Ashton.
A number of concerned citizens staying in the area wondered if it is illegal or within one’s right to smash the window of a car when you see a dog locked inside in distress.
We spoke to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to inform locals on what they can and can’t do when it comes to these situations and what the best course of action is.
“Basically when this happens people need to call the closest authorities for assistance immediately. Authorities or SAPS should be your first course of action followed by the SPCA so we can assist the animal in distress,” says Natasha Murray from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
Many residents were asking if it is legal for them to break the window of a vehicle when they see an animal in distress, but according to Murray, this is not a good idea.
“Only authorities have the right to break a window, it is illegal for citizens to break the window of someone’s car in this case, it is better if they can find a way to push the window down and it is very important that they do not remove the dog from the car if they do break the window or pull the window down as this is seen as theft,” adds Murray.
According to Murray, there is a time window in which motorists can leave their animals in the car.
“People are allowed to leave their dog in the car for a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes but any longer than this is not allowed as the vehicle will reach a boiling point and the dog will be in danger,” says Murray.
If the dog is left for 20 minutes or longer it is not acceptable. Only in the case where it is a cold day and the owner is nearby.
It is not confirmed whether the owner who left their dog in the car has been charged or confronted for the incident.