Actress Jennifer Beals is in damage control mode after being caught leaving her dog inside of her car with the windows rolled up in Vancouver Wednesday.
A passerby reported that he became concerned once he saw only one window was cracked a few inches in Beals’ car, and told the 51-year-old he would be reporting her to authorities.
The good samaritan approached Beals about the pooch, to which she reportedly responded: “In Dunbar it is, it’s fine…Thank you.”
Beals, best known for her lead role in 1983’s Flashdance and a self-described animal advocate, told the New York Daily News she had only left the car for five minutes to pick up laundry, and she wasn’t worried because the temperature was low.
I have loved dogs my whole life. They’ve been in my life since the day I was born. Every dog I’ve had has been a rescue. I would never ever jeopardize an animals safety. Ever. I’ve worked with dogs in obedience, agility and shepherding training.
I am not only a loving dog owner but a discerning one. The morning was a cool 73 degrees. I, and others, were wearing jackets. I rolled all four windows down and left the car for five minutes to pick up laundry, my car visible to me the entire time.
I wondered why two people were congregated by my car taking pictures of my girl. Proud mama thought it was because she’s so gorgeous. While I appreciate their vigilance and what must have felt like courage on their part, they were barking up the wrong tree.
Marcie Moriarty of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) begged to differ when she told the Daily News it is “definitely not” fine to leave a dog in a car on days when temperatures reach 77 degrees.
“That’s a German Shepherd-type dog it looks like…they’re already carrying a coat on them,” she said. “In this temperature, I don’t think that would necessarily create the type of cooling effect that would ever be sufficient.”
Moriarty also addressed Beals’ argument as to why she thinks it’s sufficient to leave her dog in her car in Dunbar.
“I believe the sun shines in Dunbar as much as it shines everywhere else. So that’s an interesting response,” she said.
NFL player Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals took part in a public service announcement for PETA earlier this month, in which he illustrates the consequences of leaving a dog inside of a hot car, even if it’s for a quick errand.
“It’s 99 degrees outside today. I’m sure it’s going to get a whole lot hotter inside that car,” Mathieu says in the spot, before stepping into the vehicle with the windows up.
After two minutes, he begins to feel the heat as the temperatures soar to 97 degrees inside the car.
“This is ultimately what it feels like to be a dog trapped inside of a car on a hot day while the owner is probably inside of a grocery store,” he says. “The dog has to sit in a car and literally overheat.”
The temperature rises to 105 degrees after four minutes, and Mathieu eventually gives in after sitting inside the car for eight minutes.
“I seriously couldn’t imagine leaving my dog in a car like this,” he explains. “If you’re going to make a dog a part of your family, then make him a part of your family. Don’t treat him like you wouldn’t treat someone you cared about or someone you loved.”
“Dogs can’t sweat, so when stuck inside a car temperatures above 90 degrees, they have no way of cooling themselves,” reads a statement displayed on the PSA.
Watch: How long can this NFL player tough it out in a hot car?