Woman smashes pet owner's car window
Posted at: 06/27/2012 7:32 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
What would you say to somebody who just smashed the window of your car? One Albuquerque woman said "thanks". It's a story about a hot dog on a hot day in Albuquerque's blistering heat wave.
The sun was broiling. Susanne Jones was watching a little dog in a locked car in a parking lot at a medical clinic. The window was cracked open - but only a tiny bit. She watched the dog yelping and pawing at the windows, then saw him curl up on the floor, apparently exhausted and over-heated.
"The temperature was very hot, the car had to have been very hot," Susanne told KOB Eyewitness News 4 outside a Metro Court courtoom this morning. "It was not sitting in the shade. She didn't have a sun visor up and I just felt like if I stayed there and watched I was gonna watch the dog die."
Susanne was testifying in a hearing about Claire "Cissy" King's admitted violation of city animal ordinances. She told the judge she was taking her 98-year-old mother to the doctor and didn't realize the dog was in danger.
Meanwhile Susanne Jones asked another woman in the parking lot to call 911, but the 911 operator told the woman she needed to call the main city hotline at 311.
The 311 operator connected her to the Animal Welfare Department and she reported the case.
Susanne said she waited 40 minutes, then took matters into her own hands. She said she took a "Club" locking device out of her car and smashed the rear window on the driver's side to let some air in for the dog.
Then the police arrived. Then an Animal Welfare officer. Then Cissy King came out of the doctors office and a police officer told her she had broken the law by leaving her dog locked in the car, but the case was more complicated than that.
"The officer asked if I wanted to file a counter-complaint," said Cissy outside the courtroom. "I said about what, and he said about the lady who broke your window. I said absolutely not - no - I'm sure she did what she felt like she needed to do at the time."
"She came over when everything was finished and thanked me for doing what I did<" Susanne said. "She asked if there was anything she could do to thank me and I said just please don't leave your dog in the car again."
The judge said he will dismiss charges against Cissy King, as long as she takes a pet safety class. She said she would do that right away.
Under city ordinances, private citizens do not have the right to break a window or destroy someone else's property to rescue an animal. Police and Animal Welfare officers do have that right.