We are all drawn to help animals for different reasons, but deep down we all share a love and passion that becomes our driving force for supporting animals in many different ways. Pawsitive Alliance is no different--our supporters are inspired to be the change and many of you also support other animal organizations through donations, volunteering, fostering, and maybe even through your business.
Martha Faulkner, a long time animal lover and advocate, is one of those people that when you meet her, you realize she has found a way to turn her passion for animals--and her love of helping people--into more than just a business. Martha helps people find the best home for themselves and their pet, and in doing so donates 10% of her commission to animal charities, Pawsitive Alliance being one of them.
An adoptee herself, Martha was drawn to homeless pets since -she saw the kindred spirit in them.- She also discovered in searching for her own birth family that she had a knack for sleuthing and started a support group for adopters and adoptees and helped people connect with their families. Eventually, she became a private investigator, and became an advocate for open records so other families wouldn’t have to search so hard to find their birth families.
She also continued to help animals, and eventually would became a real estate broker and helped her local shelter expand to a new location. This then turned into helping pet lovers find the right home for their whole family, since she knew that much like we have our own needs in a home, so do our animals.
Martha knows just how hard it can be to move a rescue into a new home, as someone who has adopted many pets over the years. Some rescue animals need extra attention to settle in, or have needs like a stair free home, ample play space, and so on. Her best tip when you do finally find the right home for you and your whole family? Write a letter to the current owners from the heart. Let them know why you need the home, and how it will help your family. Many people selling their home want their house to go to someone else who will love it as much as they did.
In Washington State the answer is No.
A new Washington law went into effect July 24, 2015 that allows animal control and law enforcement officers to break into vehicles to rescue pets – but it does not cover good Samaritans.
The law limits or eliminates liability for vehicle damage that animal control or law enforcement cause when rescuing a pet from a car due to extreme heat, extreme cold, lack of ventilation or lack of water. In addition, the pet owner can face a $125 fine. The person who confined the animal in the vehicle or enclose space may also be charged with animal cruelty under RCW 16.52.205 or 16.52.207.
Now we know many of you are saying to yourself, “I don’t care what the law states, I would just break the window and save the pet.” If you make that decision and you break into a car to save a pet, you could face legal or financial penalties for the damage to the vehicle. If you take the animal without the owner’s permission, you could be charged with theft. And keep in mind that you don’t know the animal, which may not react well to you breaking the window, and you could be injured.
What Should You Do?
Call 911! If you see a pet shut up in a car on a hot day in distress, call 911 and explain the urgency. While you are waiting for the animal control or law enforcement officer to arrive, take pictures of the car, the license plate and the pet in distress in the car to provide to the officer. If you don’t have a camera phone, take down the vehicle’s model, make, color, and license plate number. These can be used to report the owner for neglect or irresponsible behavior, and also to identify who the owner is.
Have the Owner Paged. Go into the local businesses or buildings nearby and notify a manager or security guard. Ask that they make an announcement over the intercom with the license plate number.
If the pet owner returns to the vehicle while you are waiting, avoid an altercation. We all want to reprimand the pet owner, but its not worth an injury or even worse, just to feel good about telling someone what a horrible pet owner they are. If the owner leaves before animal control or law enforcement arrive, you have the pictures and you should make a statement.
Monitor the Animal. According to PetMD, signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Keep a close eye on the dog for these symptoms, as it could mean that the situation needs to be acted upon very quickly.
What Else Can I Do?
We think this is a good idea. Life-Meter for Pets launched a campaign in Arizona featuring their product – a thermometer that attaches inside a car window. Their goal was to illustrate how fast a car heats up even on a mild day.
“When you display the thermometer, you are sending a message to anyone who may walk by your vehicle in a parking lot that it is never ok to leave pets alone in hot cars,” says Adam Schultz, lead designer of the product. “You are also showing your concern and spreading awareness of these dangers every day.”