ABOVE: Catherine Urquhart reports on Jennifer Beals leaving her dog in a parked car in Vancouver.
UPDATED with a statement from Jennifer Beals.
TORONTO — Actress Jennifer Beals was criticized Wednesday for leaving her dog inside a parked car in Vancouver — but she said Thursday she would “never ever jeopardize an animal’s safety.”
The star of 1983’s Flashdance left her dog in a Ford Escape with California license plates on Marine Drive near 18th Street.
The passenger-side window was open a few inches.
When the 51-year-old returned to the vehicle after about five minutes, a concerned passerby confronted Beals about leaving her pet — a large German Shepherd-type dog — in the car.
“It’s fine,” Beals said. “Thank you.”
Marcie Moriarty of the BC SPCA told Global B.C. News Hour leaving the window down a few inches was probably not enough on a day when temperatures reached 25 degrees Celsius.
“In this temperature, I don’t think that would necessarily create the type of cooling effect that would ever be sufficient,” she said.
On Thursday, Beals told Global News in a statement: “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’ve worked with dogs in obedience, agility and shepherding training. I am not only a loving dog owner but a discerning one.”
Beals said it was cool in West Vancouver on Wednesday morning. “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 was visible to me the entire time,” she explained.
“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.”
Beals, who is married to Canadian Ken Dixon, wrapped production of Proof, a series for U.S. cable channel TNT, at the end of April. Last fall she made the TV movie A Wife’s Nightmare in Kelowna. Beals previously starred in the Vancouver-shot series The L Word from 2004 to 2009.
BELOW: The man who confronted Jennifer Beals talks about the incident.
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