Leave your dogs in your trunk in Dallas, and don’t be surprised if your car looks like a roughly opened can of sardines when you come back. That’s the lesson John and Danika Shipman learned when Dallas Fire-Rescue pried open the trunk of their new Hyundai Sonata to get their two Yorkies out.
Joey and Eric, brothers-in-law who asked that their last names not be used, had passed by the car and heard barking. They traced it to the trunk, and were worried about the condition of the dogs, and how long they’d been in there. So they called 911.
“If they had just been in the car, maybe with the windows down or something, I think they would have been okay,” Eric says. “But I felt the trunk was just very inhumane.”
Firefighters did what it took to open the trunk. And what it took was some serious prying. The Shipmans are not happy about their condition of their car. They say firefighters went too far, and are suing the city for $5,000 in repairs.
The Shipmans say that while all this was going on, they were enjoying lunch at a restaurant, celebrating John’s birthday. They say they had put their two Yorkies in the trunk to protect them. “I put them back there because I didnt want them in the cabin, because [someone] will unlock the door,” John Shipman says. “Those pups cost about $1,000 each. I don’t want somebody to just reach in there and steal them.”
They say they left the back seat tilted forward a little for air, and that they love the dogs (all $2,000 worth of them) and would never do anything to harm them. Fortunately the temps were not bad â€” 61 degrees â€” and it was cloudy. The dogs appeared unharmed.
What do you think, Dogsters? Did firefighters do the right thing? Looks like the Shipmans won’t be putting any dogs in the trunk for quite some time. At least until their trunk gets repaired …
Update 9:30 a.m. PST 1-17-2012: Carma Poodle flagged us to a story on KTEN, which says John Shipman is now facing animal cruelty charges that come with a possible $10,000 fine.
The Shipmans say the dogs are like family; they sleep in their bed and sit with them on the couch. The dogs aren’t left behind for anything, he says. “The dogs come to work with me every day and I travel a lot with my work as well. They travel with me wherever I go,” John Shipman said. He maintains that the dogs were not truly in the trunk, but that the backseat was tipped forward adequately.
“The dogs were not locked in the trunk of the car. The person that was the so-called witness to it says he saw us lock them in the trunk of the car. Had that person maybe said, with two sentences, ‘Hey, did just lock your dogs in the trunk of the car?’ I would have been more than happy to say, ‘No, absolutely not. Come here, let me show you.”