Pets Locked in Hot Car in WV Causes Controversy


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – With the summer temperatures in full swing, heat concerns are on the rise.

One woman reported she saw a dog nearly die in a hot car in Beckley. Kathy Adkins said she saw a little dog trapped in the heat, but was told legally no one can do anything about it, not even the police.

“The dog couldn’t do anything, it was dying and I think it knew it was dying,” said Adkins.

Adkins saw what she called a heartbreaking experience when she went grocery shopping at Walmart on Monday (8/21). “I thought that I heard a little dog whimpering and my son was immediately upset, he said mom someone left their dog in the car,” said Adkins. From there the situation was exactly what it sounded like, a little dog stuck in a scorching hot black car. “It was so hot, there were a couple other people that said it had been there for a while,” said Adkins.

Adkins said there was a crowd of people around the car, but no one knew what to do.

Adkins said she and her son called Walmart employees and the police in hopes to locate the owner fast, but soon after she couldn’t bare to watch the helpless pup, so she took initiative to open the door. “If I didn’t get him he would have died,” said Adkins.

Even when the police showed up, they said there wasn’t much they could do. This is because West Virginia is one of just two states in the country that forbids law enforcement from breaking into a car to save an animal.

Adkins said she is now striving to change that. “We should all feel safe knowing that we’re not going to be prosecuted for doing a good thing,” said Adkins.

She’s hoping to spread a message not just to dog lovers, but to everyone, that more needs to be done in West Virginia to protect those who can’t do it alone. “I just hope the right person who knows how to get the law changed can help do that,” said Adkins.

Her ultimate goal is to never see a situation like this unfold again. “I just don’t want to see something like that again and not be able to help,” said Adkins.

The Beckley Police Department did tell 59 News that even though they can’t break into a car, they still respond to these situations to do their best to keep everyone safe.

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