Anderson Cooper may have some competition as America’s favorite dog luvin’ newshound. Kyle Clark of the NBC affiliate station KUSA gave an on-air apology to a pup he encountered on a sweltering Denver day last week. He posted the clip to his Facebook page on June 9 and it has been viewed more than 1.3 million times with tens of thousands of comments and shares.
Clark was at a local shopping center picking up lunch when he encountered a dog in a parked Honda CRV. The pooch was agitated and crying loudly enough that Clark could hear it from across the lot. In his video apology to the pup, Clark admits to struggling over what he should do.
While many US states have introduced laws allowing citizens and law enforcement to take action by breaking into vehicles in these situations, Colorado is not currently one of them. However, according to the Denver Animal Shelter, leaving a dog in a hot car does constitute animal cruelty. The owner could have faced fines up to $999 and/or up to a year in jail.
Clark convinced himself it was not his business to intervene and proceeded inside the restaurant. 10 minutes later he emerged to find the dog still trapped in the hot car and still crying. He decided it was time to take action, snapping photos and video and calling 311 for help. After sitting on hold for more than 5 minutes, Clark encountered the pup’s owner as he emerged from a frozen yogurt shop. He confronted the man who essentially laughed off Clark’s polite admonishments before taking off unfazed.
Disturbed by the event and regretting his hesitation, Clark felt compelled to deliver a televised message. He begins:
“I have an apology to make. I thought about putting a rock through someone’s car window today. Didn’t do it…but I thought about it. And now an apology is in order.”
Clark goes on to recount the disturbing event for the viewing public. At no time does he attempt to glorify his own actions or “play the hero.” Instead he is contrite for showing hesitation when faced with an animal in need. The following day, he posted a photo of himself with his own two pups and a heartbreaking message he received from a viewer.
Clark ends his moving message with the following sentiment:
“So an apology is in order. Not to you (the owner), no. To your dog. I’m sorry your dog does not have better humans.”
The Denver Animal Shelter advises other citizens faced with a dog trapped in a hot car to watch for signs of distress- panting, glazed eyes, dark tongue or vomiting. Report the situation to your local police or animal protection agency and wait for them to arrive. You may also ask nearby businesses to announce the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle in an effort to locate the owner.
Thank you, Mr. Clark, for caring enough to bring this issue into the public eye.
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