VanMeveren Law Group July 2018

Foundations 9 7 0 We’re Going to the Dogs!

Last fall, I wrote about our loyal shelter dog, Bandit, and his devoted master, Kendall. Well, as if life with six kids, one granddaughter, a busy law practice, coaching, mentoring, and triathlon training wasn’t enough, we’ve added a beautiful German Shepherd puppy to the mix. After years of persistence, including nightly prayers, saving every penny for the “puppy fund,” and PowerPoint presentations about the attributes of German Shepherds and the benefits of owning two dogs, Kendall got her wish. Welcome, Kona! Her beautiful black face reminded us of our trips to the black lava fields of the big island of Hawaii, where I’ve become a frequent visitor for the Ironman World Championships. Kona is a 12-week-old German Shepherd with direct roots in Germany. She’s a super-sweet, happy-go- lucky pup who’s trying to keep up with her new best friend, Bandit. She’s an adorable, clumsy, fast- growing gal with teddy-bear fur and tons of energy. Bandit has been more than accommodating to Kona, even as she chews on his face and tries to keep up in our nightly game of fetch. The two dogs seem to be bonding quite well, and Bandit has really helped with our early training sessions regarding boundaries, house rules, and barking. More importantly, now that summer is in full swing, I want to emphasize the importance of keeping your dog out of the sweltering heat of your unattended vehicle. This seems like common sense, but every summer seems to bring a sad story about someone leaving their dog in the car.

I’m reminded of the impactful public service television ad that former Arizona Cardinals star, Ty Mathieu, put out a few years ago. Ty wanted to raise awareness regarding the dangers of keeping your dog in an unattended vehicle while you run errands, so he placed himself in the dog’s situation to see how well he could endure a closed vehicle on a 90-degree day. The big, tough NFL star only lasted 8 minutes before he had to open the car door and escape the stifling heat.

On a 90-degree day, even with the windows cracked, the internal temperature of your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees

in a matter of minutes. Our

3. Remember, every second counts. If it comes down to it and you must break into a locked car to rescue a pet in distress, it’s okay. Effective last August, the Colorado Legislature wisely enacted new laws protecting folks who have no option but to break into a vehicle to rescue an animal or at-risk human in distress. Colorado joined 10 other states implementing new laws exempting persons from criminal liability when rendering assistance to an at-risk person or animal inside a locked vehicle.

dogs can’t sweat, they’re covered in fur, and they have no way of cooling

themselves beyond panting. At 105 degrees, dogs begin to experience heat stroke and organ failure. The difference between Ty Mathieu’s experiment and the predicament of a real dog is that the dog doesn’t have the luxury of opening the car door to escape or the ability to turn on the air conditioning.

If you ever see a dog alone in an unattended vehicle, here are three important steps to take:

Be on the lookout for our furry friends this summer and remember, every second counts.

1. Call 911.

2. If at all possible, do not leave the scene until police arrive or the dog’s owner returns.

–Bryan VanMeveren

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