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It was a sunny Sunday in Katy, Texas, with temperatures reaching into the low 90’s when concerned dog lovers gathered around a car parked in Lowe’s home improvement store parking lot, worried for the yellow Lab locked inside, panting heavily while the windows were rolled all the way up.
Store managers paged the dog’s owner several times, hoping he’d come outside and end his dog’s suffering. But, after about 30 minutes with no response, the group outside collectively decided to take matters into their own hands.
“Everybody was like, ‘If you’re not going to do it, I’m going to do it,’” said Shell Smith, a bystander who caught the entire incident on cell phone video.
After smashing a rear window with a tire iron, Lowe’s employees took the dog inside the store where he was given water and reunited with his owner who said he was only in the car for 20 minutes and was perfectly fine.
Temperatures inside a car parked in full sun on a hot day can reach dangerous, life-threatening levels within only a few minutes.
“When do you make the call, do you wait for the first stroke? What do you do?” Smith asked.
Although in Texas dogs are considered property and those bystanders risked facing criminal charges for their part in rescuing the dog, the Harris County District Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed.