Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dogs in Cars All Day in Zoo Parking Lot!

So, as someone who wants to be aware of all things SFZoo, one of the things I do is RSS feed all the mentions of the Zoo from Twitter.  Over the years I have learned alot this way that I otherwise would not have.

Last year I caught a Tweet from one of the Zoo's Docents. Chris Shuttlesworth,  in regard to seeing a"Dog under a car" in the Zoo parking lot.  She posted a photo and simply said, "I hope the Family comes back soon."  I was appalled that not only would a Docent say they saw this, AND post a photo, but they didn't follow through and take the Dog to the office so it didn't run out of the lot to the street or even get hit by a car in the lot.  From what she wrote apparently she had no other feelings about the safety of this Animal.  Real nice from a Zoo representative aka someone you would hope cared about Animals.

Here is the Tweet, Photo, and Comments posted.

Last month I caught this Tweet from late March, by user @DavidDowneyJr

"Props to the SF zoo for allowing people to have dogs in the parking lot! Now we can take our son to a zoo before he turns 1! Stoked"

Upon further questioning to this user, he said that when he got there, leaving his Dog in the car seemed like a bad idea.  Kudo's to him!

That said, the day after I read this I was walking through the parking lot and heard a Dog barking.
Photos are both of when I went in and hours later when I came out.  :(  
You can also view my video 

So, yesterday knowing I was going to post about this, I finally followed through and called the Zoo and asked if it was Ok to leave my Dog in the car in the lot while I was at the Zoo.   I'll also note that yesterday was a really hot day. 

The Zoo Employee who answered the phone said, "We don't tell you, you can or can't, but we don't advise it.  If someone complains and calls the Police they will come in and ticket you."  

I called back to get the name of the Employee, for both reference and to again confirm it was an acceptable action.  I will also note that I am not posting who I spoke to because he is just relaying the Zoo's own Policy.

SO yeah, OMG!  There are so many things wrong with this!  Where do I start.  First and foremost, it is in no way acceptable for a Dog or any pet to be left in a car for an extended amount of time.  Maybe you leave it in there while you do some quick marketing, but not for a day long outing.  Not only who does this?  BUT The Zoo a facility that is supposed to support, respect and educate in regards to Animals, not only let's this happen, but also tells people its okay to do so!   What kind of message does this send?   Its obviously illegal as well if Police can come in and issue a ticket.    

I just don't get it.  After all I see with Animal disrespect from both Visitors and Staff, I'm not surprised by anything, but I still continue to have a reaction of disbelief.   Very disappointing.

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Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson
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  1. I am upset and hurt by the zoo allowing this to happen. Now, I know people are dumb, I know by zooing a lot that I should know that not all people visiting the zoo are animal lovers, but this is wrong on so many levels. Most of the time the only time you see security is in the parking lot of the why arent they reporting this? I know that the zoo officials hate stepping on visitors toes because the bottom line is they want the admission fees. There should be signs before the parking lot entrance stating "do not leave animals in or around you car during your visit or authorities will be called". There are signs on the pamplets stating "service dogs only". Oh, and the zoo doesnt need docents that don't see a problem with this, plus what kind of person answers phone questions like this employee did? Once again this is showing that the zoo doesnt put animals first. I just think this is such a disgrace. Thank you for bringing this up for people to "get a clue", that's about all I can say because for the most part in today's world, people have gotten more selfish, ignorant, and just don't care.

    1. @Lee- Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in reply. Know that your comments are always appreciated!.. I totally agree. I actually asked a Keeper about this before I posted and they said I had to be wrong, because the Zoo would never allow that "The Animal Rights people would be all over them." SO that is why I called and asked (also so No Staffer can per usual say I make stuff up to hurt the Zoo). You are right, there should be a sign and I don't think they have put one up. I will look. If not, contacting the Director is what I advise everyone to do. As for the Employee who said such, I know this guy and he's ok. We have to remember that the Employees there are threatened with their jobs if they don't do and say exactly what they are told. That all said, the Zoo Management will never put Animals first, and the General Public as a majority are not empathetic towards Animals. I see it everyday either at the Park or at the Zoo. Its very sad.

  2. There was a news story about a dog that had been left in a car for six days! It was dehydrated and malnurished and was not even the car owner's dog but rather one that he had been left in care of! Here is the kicker; they gave the dog back with just a notice of "how to care for a dog!" WTF is wrong with people!? These were the "authorities" that decided to give the dog back to the guy!
    Lee, as sad as it is, there are alot of vacuous people that have animals that they can't take care of. Its like reasoning doesn't apply to their sensibilities. What I would consider deductive reasoning, just doesn't seem to happen as much anymore and for alot of people.

    1. @Michael Groob- Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in reply. Know that your comments are always appreciated! .. That is a disgusting story. People are just awful And as you've noted, those in authority although looked to as leaders by some, are just as bad as the offenders. It really does appear that the population who cares is dwindling fast.

  3. Several years ago I saw a dog locked in a car on a hot day and didn't know what to do, so I did nothing. I feel guilty to this day. But I did some internet research at a later date and found an excellent article -

    The most important thing to know is that 14 states, including California, consider it a criminal offense to leave a dog in extreme heat or cold. So I would say, forget about asking the incapable zoo to do anything and CALL ANIMAL CONTROL OR THE POLICE.

    1. @hazel- Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in reply. Know that your comments are always appreciated! ... Thank you for also posting this valuable information. The Zoo should take a stand and post signs and also educate (is that not still part of their mission statement?) people at the home level in regards to owning domestic pets. Bottom line as always, is the Zoo doesn't want to say Boo to anyone because they are afraid they will offend someone comoing ther eto spend a few bucks. So, in this case I guess a Dog getting their brains fried is worth the 15 bucks admission. Gosh just wiritng that makes me feel like throwing up. Sadly the Zoo will read it and it won't make them feel anything. SO YES we the people need to do something. If the Dog didn't have air or it was unusually warm I would have done something , believe me. I had done stuff. In recent times I followed a gal into Target and questioned her about her Dog being left and the windows not looking cracked.


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