The diligence and care of a police officer and local veterinarian last week likely saved the life of a young bulldog who got off-property in downtown New Canaan on an afternoon that saw temperatures soar toward 100 degrees.
Around 3:49 p.m. on July 21—a Friday—Police Officer Andrea Alexander responded to a report of a roaming dog lying in a residential driveway on the south side of Locust Avenue, according to an incident summary report obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a Freedom of Information request.
A Forest Street woman 52, told Alexander that the young animal had been following them and “that the dog seemed to be overheating and they tried to give him water but he wouldn’t take it,” the report said.
“I found the dog to be a young male English bulldog and he was having issues breathing from the excessive heat. I had a leash and he came with me to my car and I was able to get him into the back area. The dog was having great difficulty breathing at this point and panting profusely. There was no collar on the dog. I immediately took him to Grove Street Vet where I knew the vet Dr. Hochman should still be working.”
That’s Dr. Daniel Hochman of Grove Street Veterinary.
There, the vet examined the bulldog “and took him to a cooling room to rehydrate and bring his body temp back to normal,” according to the incident report.
The doctor noted that bulldogs fare poorly in the heat “and can die quickly from overheating,” the report said.
Hochman’s assistant scanned the dog, found a microchip that identified him as ‘Bruno’ and discovered that the owner actually lived on the north side of Locust Avenue, across the busy street from where the animal had been found.
The owner was contacted but—apparently not understanding the seriousness of the heat exposure—sent his 12-year-old daughter a mile across town to collect the dog, with the idea of walking him back.
“I would not allow the dog to go with her,” Alexander said in the report.
She added: “I informed the girl that animals cannot tolerate heat for extended periods and that it was irresponsible to do so and could have been deadly.”
The officer also advised that it’s very dangerous for a dog to cross Locust Avenue.
Bruno apparently had gotten out when someone failed to close a door, the report said.
Two days later, Officer Diane Apicelli of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section delivered a written warning to the dog’s owner for allowing a dog to roam and failure to license, both infraction-level offenses.