Amber Skivington Shares Her Story of Saving Dog from Overheating Vehicle

Please click the link below to subscribe to a FREE PDF version of each print edition of the Niagara Reporter



Niagara Falls POlice Department Officer Montanaro


The heart-wrenching story of a small dog who locked in a car on a day where it was sunny and 95 degrees.


By: Amber Skivington

On Friday July 13th,2018, around 1:30pm I was leaving Walmart. I don’t typically go to Walmart, but I am grateful that I was there on this day.


Amber Skivington


As I was leaving the store, by my car in the parking lot I noticed a cop parked and out of his vehicle with another gentleman. I started to walk closer in their direction and began to hear whining, howling and crying of a puppy.

I have a puppy of my own at home and I am all too familiar with that sound. Although this didn’t sound like a puppy crying to eat or go outside, the puppy sounded like it was unbelievably distressed and I was immediately concerned.

I walked right up to the car that the officer, whose name was Officer Montanaro, and another gentleman were standing at. I saw yet another puppy in this car and immediately knew this was another situation of someone leaving a dog in a hot car.

The car was not running and only had the windows slightly cracked. The puppy was very small and was using all of her energy to stretch to the windows to let the us know that she was hot and wanted out.



She was panting, crying, and scratching desperately at the door to be let out. I asked the officer how long that she had been in there for and the gentleman with us told me that he was watching the car for about 45 minutes waiting for the owner to return. When the owner did not return that’s when he called the police.

Officer Montanaro responded to the call and said he had only been on scene a few minutes before I arrived. The Officer said that he had attempted multiple times to get the door unlocked to let her out. He wanted to exhaust all of his options before having to break the window.

This entire time the puppy is still crying desperately to be let out. I could tell that it was getting hard for her to deal with the heat because her entire body was moving. It looked like she was having a seizure.

It had been an hour already and, with no owner in sight, I realized that the windows were cracked enough that I could possibly get my arm down into the car through the crack to unlocked the doors; so that’s just what I did.

I reached my hand through the crack attempting to get the lock. Officer Montanaro assisted and told me how close I was to it. Despite my arm being squeezed, I kept reaching.

To my relief, I was able to get the door unlocked.


A photo submitted by Amber of her own dog.


Officer Montanaro immediately picked her up and put her into his air conditioned patrol vehicle. We knew the first thing she needed now that she was in a cooler environment was water. Luckily, I had just bought water so I ran to my car quickly and got some for her.

Officer Montanaro gave her some water and she immediately began guzzling it down. We were beyond relieved to see her panting start to subside.

From there the officer got in contact with animal control to let them know that I was able to get into the vehicle to unlock the door and the puppy was out. As the Officer and I were exchanging thanks to each other, a woman and her family began to approach the car. Officer Montanaro asked her if she was the owner of the vehicle and when she confirmed she was. He let her know that the puppy was in his vehicle and that animal control was on the way to assess the situation and the amount of danger she put the puppy in.

The owner was angry that animal control was called, that we had got into her vehicle, and blamed Walmart’s long lines for the reason why the puppy was in the hot car for an hour.

I was unable to stay to see whether or not she was charged, but Officer Montanaro handled the situation perfectly and I am so grateful that a cop who was so caring and eager to help was on the scene.

Our main concern was to help this puppy who was trapped inside a hot car who appeared to be very close to suffering heat stroke.

I have two dogs of my own and could never imagine putting them in harms way. It is disappointing to know that there are people in the world who leave their animals in the car on hot summer days when they are fully aware of the dangers of over heating. I posted on Facebook shortly after this situation occurred to bring awareness to what happened and to thank Officer Montanaro.

To much surprise my post blew up and our story was shared and seen by so many people. All that I can hope is that from sharing that post and this article people understand how important it is not to leave their pets in hot cars during the summer.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
.wpzoom (color:black;}