Tag Archives: dogs in cars

The Dog Days Of Brandon Malin

As the thermometer heads toward 95 — with plenty of that nice Westport humidity — it’s a good day to take note of some new signs around town.

Sure, we think there are too many. But a few new ones are well worth reading.

And heeding.

Last spring, Brandon Malin — a Coleytown Middle School 8th grader — spearheaded a drive to remind drivers not to leave children or pets in cars that quickly turn sweltering, even on mild days. He got the idea from similar signs in Fairfield parking lots.

With the help of the Staples High School art department — and the support of Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, First Selectman Jim Marpe and other town officials — he saw the project through to completion. (Brandon also raised money to produce the signs.)

They’re up now at Compo Beach and Longshore. Hopefully, downtown lots will be next.

One of Brandon Malin’s signs (under an already-decorated one) at Compo Beach …

The signs say: “If you love them, don’t leave them. Heat Kills!” Below that is the Police Department phone number to report a child or animal in a car, and the reminder: “One call can save a life.”

Heat like today’s makes all of us a bit fuzzy-headed.

Thanks to Brandon, we can focus a bit more clearly on the people and pets we love.

… and another at Longshore.

Man And Beast Weather

Yesterday’s 95-degree (!) weather brought “danger” emails from 2 alert — and concerned — readers.

One worried about dogs. The other talked about people.

M. Ford — a newcomer to Westport — asked me to remind everyone that it is never safe to leave your pet in a closed car in warm weather.

She noticed a car parked — facing the sun — at Trader Joe’s.* The rear window was cracked — just an inch.

This dog is NOT locked in a sweltering car. (Photo courtesy of Dogster.com)

When she left the store 45 minutes later** the dog was in the front seat, panting. The door was locked.

Fifteen minutes later — after Ford finished some work in her car — a young woman came out, got in the car and drove away.

Ford wanted to give her a gentle reminder, but worried about offending her. She asked me to pass along the warning — and adds this informative link about car temperatures (click here).

Meanwhile, Mike Nayor writes: “When the weather turns fair the number of walkers and joggers in Westport multiplies exponentially. In theory that’s a good thing.”

However, he says, one recent evening he almost hit 3 people walking abreast in the same direction as traffic. All wore dark clothing.

Mike asked me to remind people to walk and jog against traffic, so they can see what’s coming their way.

“Responsibility for safety resides with both drivers and pedestrians,” he notes.

Always walk facing traffic. And cross only at designated areas, like these 4 fellows. (NOTE: This photo was apparently not taken in Westport, as all the cars are headed the wrong way.)

*This may be the first story about the Trader Joe’s parking lot that does not involve a terrible parking job.

** The checkout line is usually much quicker — unless there’s at least 2 inches of snow on the way.