Over this past year, many of us have read the horror stories of babies and dogs being left in cars where many have sadly succumbed to death because of either decreasing or increasing temperatures inside of the automobile. Some of these drivers "forgot" that they had a sleeping baby in the back, and with that silence, absentmindedly left them in the car while they went into a store to run errands. Others, distortedly thought that they would "be right back" and their precious pets or children would be "just fine" for a few minutes - when really a few minutes is all it takes for tragedy to strike.
I have witnessed two incidents over the past two years of owners leaving their dogs in their cars for “just a few minutes” in the heat of summer. One happened at the beach where the guy went into a bar to have a beer and thought that leaving his dog in the back of his pick-up truck without a leash was safe and not a factor in the sun. The other occurred at the post office, when a dog owner went inside to mail something, and to her surprise, the line was a lot longer than she anticipated. Luckily, I stood outside of the vehicles for a few minutes to assess the situation, and on both occasions called the police, so the dogs could be rescued.
Temperatures accelerate faster than you can imagine inside cars in the sun. Even on a mild day, with the windows slightly cracked, if the vehicle is parked in direct sunlight, your pet or child can become overwhelmed with heat stroke that can lead to death in a matter of minutes. Freezing temperatures can cause deadly hypothermic situations with children and pets left in cars, too.
Some good Samaritans have sometimes taken it upon themselves to rescue these temporarily abandoned children or pets in these dangerous pressure cooker situations by breaking glass and giving them a breath of fresh air before they meet their demise. Sometimes, you can’t wait for help to arrive and you are the help. Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished, and in many states, the person doing the rescuing can have charges pressed against them for vandalism and worse, when they were just trying to do the right thing and save a life. Most states have laws in place that state that a person must have a justifiable reason for breaking into a vehicle or they can face charges. “Justifiable” is what is sometimes open to interpretation.
Right now there are only 19 states with any kind of law against leaving your child unattended in a vehicle, and only if the child or animal dies is there any kind of substantial punishment.
People don’t want to penalize parents who would have this happen accidentally, but as Chris Wilkinson, supporter of measures to stop these unnecessary deaths feels, “We do intend to bring the full force of the law down on those who would do it intentionally.”
God forbid I left a baby in the backseat or my dog, I honestly wouldn’t mind if someone broke the glass window to get them out! Glass is replaceable. Lives are not!
The best option, of course, is to leave your dog at home when you are running errands and can’t have them come with you into shops. And as far as having a child in their car seat in the back, hopefully more people will look over their shoulder before leaving.
Chris Wilkinson of Alabama is trying to change things for the better. She is the owner of Bunky’s Bama Blankies N’ Stuff. Her business started out as one where she made customized dog collars, blankets, bracelets, pet beds, and leashes; but she has a calling for the greater good.
She has devised the “Bunky’s Window Blaster” that’s used to rescue anyone, whether two or four-legged, from a bad backseat situation in the heat.
“The Bunky’s Resqme Window Blaster is a 2 inch device, that is on a quick-release keychain made of reflective or glow-in-the-dark super-tough parachute cord, with a safety whistle and seat belt cutter; and allows one to safely rescue a child or dog in less than 10 seconds, without shattering glass all over themselves and the child or animal. The Blaster can also be used personally to save yourself from the inside of the vehicle in the event of an accident, where power door locks/windows become inoperative or damage to the vehicle prevents you from opening a door or getting out of your seat belt,” explains Wilkinson.
[Watch the video below for a demonstration of the Bunky’s Window Blaster that made TV news]
"We're not encouraging anyone to break a law. But should you find yourself in that situation, it's not safe to go up to a window with a tree branch or a baseball bat. This allows you to break the window. It shatters in one piece. You're able to use your keys or whatever you have on hand to brush the glass away, so it's not all over you; it's not all over the child you're trying to rescue," says Wilkinson.
She redesigned the device, originally manufactured by “Rescue Me”, so it is more user-friendly and you can attach it to a keychain. It also has a blade for cutting a seatbelt, and has a whistle for signaling that help is needed. You can use this to get yourself out of a bad situation, too. It’s very easy to use, and portable.
“The sale of the blaster at $20.95, which covers tax and shipping, goes 100% (minus the cost of materials) to raise funds to support the cost of lobbying (to change laws to save lives), as though I wish I was able to fund this myself, I'm a disabled from service to our country, and living on my government stipend and proceeds from my small crafts business, which prevents me from funding it all myself,” shares Wilkinson.
If you would like to order a Bunky’s Window Blaster, you can on the Bama Bunky Facebook page or contact the company at (205) 765-9140. Wilkinson will include a $5 gift card with every purchase of a blaster to use at her online store. Just mention that you read about her here at THELADYINREDBLOG.
“Sadly, I had met baby Cooper Harris, the 22 month-old who died in his dad’s hot car in Georgia, and knew his dad, Ross, who was indicted for his murder. I'm desperately trying to get Baby Cooper's Law introduced and passed (facebook.com/cooperslaw) that would help stop both hot and cold car deaths of kids and animals, by imposing stiffer penalties and requiring car companies to act, as well as provide legal protection for those who would rescue an animal or a child. Ultimately, we'd like to see federally mandated car seat alarms by 2020, mandatory aftermarket alarms with Federal standards implemented by 2022.”
By ordering these beautiful handmade pet and people items, you will be sharing something wonderful with someone you love, and also supporting a good cause.
(You must be a resident of the continental USA)
Be sure to follow Bunky’s Bama Blankies N’ Stuff on Twitter @bamabunky
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