To the editor:
To Mr. Stegall, I want to say that if your children in fact faced a violent mob returning to their car where they left their dog on a summer's day, I am sorry to hear it (Public Forum, Aug. 16).
However, rescuing your children's dog from their car was no overreaction and the police were called in for good reason.
Section 3-105 of the Lawrence City Code, which you say is "seriously out of proportion," makes it "unlawful for any person to leave any animal confined in a vehicle for more than five minutes in extreme weather conditions, defined as less than 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit."
On a 78-degree day, a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in minutes. Even with the windows partly opened - and on a cloudy day or in the shade - a car's interior can climb to 120 degrees or higher within minutes. Pets can suffer irreparable brain damage and even die of heatstroke faster than you might think.
Leaving any animal in a car on a warm day, even for only a few minutes, IS a "dastardly deed."
The anti-tethering bill you refer to was put in place to curb excessive animal abuse - and does NOT target any citizen who leaves their dog outdoors under normal supervised conditions.
Both of these laws are enforceable ways of protecting all members of our community. I want to thank everyone in Lawrence committed to doing just that.