Video footage of a man smashing a car window to free a dog left inside on a hot day in Grand Bend, Ont. has gone viral, with more than 300,000 views so far.
Will Costa captured the video on Saturday while attending a concert in the popular beach community on the shores of Lake Huron.
“The announcer, between sets, was announcing there was a dog locked in a vehicle,” Costa said, adding that a crowd of onlookers gathered around the vehicle.
“The owners were not around and someone had mentioned they had called the police. So we kind of waited around a bit until police showed up or the owners showed up.”
But no one came and onlookers decided to take action.
“A gentleman in the blue – which you see in the video – he tried pulling down the window, there was a small crack in the sunroof, but nothing was happening,” he said.
The man then used a large rock to break the BMW’s rear passenger window.
The car door was then unlocked and the dog was successfully removed and given water.
“As soon as the dog was freed everyone was applauding, even the dog seemed to be happy. He was wagging his tail,” Costa said.
Costa said it wasn’t until fifty minutes after the dog was freed, the owners finally showed up.
“At first they were confused … they didn’t understand what was going on,” he said.
“The man who saved the dog explained what the situation was. At the time they felt they did nothing wrong, they left the window open and claimed that would be more than enough for the dog to be able to breathe and be comfortable.”
The OPP said on Monday in a press release that the owner had no concerns over the damage made to the vehicle and the dog was returned pending an investigation by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Since the warm weather has arrived, there have been approximately 214 calls made to the OSPCA over animals left inside vehicles.
“Even with windows cracked, it can get very hot very quickly in a car,” said Eric Jensen from the Toronto Humane Society.
“Temperature can rise very quickly in a car…and worst case scenario an animal can die.”
The OPP are reminding pet owners that leaving animals in a vehicle in sunlight with no direct water could put the animal at risk.
Costa hopes the dog’s owners learned a valuable lesson on Saturday.
“I’m sure they love the dog. I just hope they realize how close they were to losing their dog that day,” Costa said.