BRACK:  Don’t leave your furry friends in hot cars

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  The passenger window was cracked about two inches on a hazy Charleston morning.  It wasn’t too hot yet, but the mercury was already 80 degrees.

A little white lap dog panted as it sat on the front seat of the late-model Volvo SUV with Virginia plates.  Where was the owner, I wondered.  Why is the dog in the car?

I grabbed a pen and wrote on the back of an old envelope:  “Please don’t leave your dog locked in a car.  It’s against the law.  It’s wrong.”

I balanced the note on a window, but it toppled onto the car floor. So I got ready to make another one to put it in a more secure place when a mid-30s woman approached the vehicle to open the door.  I described the note I had left and told her why she shouldn’t leave the dog in the car.

“I was just going inside for a cup of coffee,” she said.

Typical. People still don’t understand that cars are ovens for pets.  Even when you might think that it’s not that hot, vehicles heat up more quickly than you might think.  An 80 degree day can quickly become a 120-degree nightmare for a dog stuck in a vehicle, as illustrated by the graphic at right that police in Littleton, N.H. display on yard signs throughout town.

If you are traveling with your dog and want to pop in for a cup of coffee, take your dog with you and leash him or her to a shady spot.  Better yet:  Leave your pet at home.

IF YOU WANT a commentary with more political substance, you might check out our recent column on the policy Einsteins of the state legislature, who have had an impressive list of recent big policy failures, ranging from 28 years of ignoring state roads and bridges, which put S.C. about $40 billion in the hole, and several years of trying to get higher-than-reasonable returns on state pensions, which led to a $24 billion hole.

An excerpt:

“Now comes an icing-on-the-cake catastrophe:  The $9 billion failure of a project to build two nuclear reactors in Fairfield County.  A 2007 act by the Einsteins of the General Assembly created conditions for a private utility and the state-owned utility to fund the project, shifting the burden to ratepayers and protecting investors.  Nobody envisioned a partner as big as Westinghouse would be forced into bankruptcy,

crippling the project.  Only a few envisioned the possibility that the Base Load Review Act would have the unintended consequences that now may put ratepayers on the hook for the next 60 years.

“It’s yet another South Carolina policy cluster.  And now that it’s in the open, lawmakers are scrambling like roaches caught in light to look like they’re seeking solutions.  They’re looking to take credit for wearing capes to fix something that should never have happened in the first place.

“Yes, hindsight is 20-20.  But the General Assembly should have learned long ago to be more careful with the taxpayers’ money.  Let’s say this again:  It would be helpful for legislators to have an overall state policy plan instead of just making it up as they go along.”

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