BRAVE woman breaks into stranger’s Mercedes to save puppy



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Around 5 p.m. on Friday, instead of meeting friends for happy hour, Shawna Harch found herself asking passersby in Northwest Portland how to break a car window.

She had been swinging her car jack against the Mercedes window, but it just bounced off. Frustrated, she wanted to cry.

Harch wasn’t trying to steal the car. She was trying to save a dog locked in the car with the windows rolled up, she explained in an essay on Medium.


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According to the National Weather Service, it was 89 degrees in Portland at the time, and no doubt hotter inside the car.

Harch, a Portland woman who has worked as a public relations specialist for an animal hospital, saw the small dog trapped inside and knew it needed help. Though the moonroof was open about an inch, the dog was clearly in distress, she wrote.

The car’s parking receipt showed that the owners had just left, but the slip was good for two more hours.

“I knew this was a bad situation that was only going to get worse — quickly,” Harch wrote.

So she called Multnomah County Animal Services, which directed her to call the police non-emergency line. The bureau told her someone would be dispatched, but it could take a while.

At that point, Harch, her sister and another passerby started asking around for the owners, but they couldn’t be found.

“Time was passing, and the dog inside the car had stopped barking and was plastered against the very back of the crate,” she wrote. “I knew she was trying to get as low to the ground as possible, and I could see her panting.”

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