On Thursday, KDKA-TV investigative reporter Andy Sheehan was involved in something he describes as a “serious lapse in judgement.” Sheehan, while taking his dog to the park, stopped to run what he expected to be a brief errand in Bloomfield. The dog had to stay in the car and temperatures were approaching the mid-80s to low-90s. By the time Sheehan returned from the errand, someone had broken the window to rescue the dog and contacted police. Not long after, Facebook user Jason Lee had exposed the incident to social media. Lee’s public post on his personal page reported that “the windows were up and the car was turned off for over 30 minutes.” Lee also reported that the good samaritan was fined “after Sheehan claimed he was ‘only gone for 5 minutes and this act was uncalled for.'”
Social media users were relentless with their opinions of Sheehan’s actions. The post was shared over 6000 times and there were at least 1100 comments on Lee’s original post. Readers were calling for the dog to be taken away, or for Sheehan to drop the charges or pay for the fines imposed on the person who broke the window.
This morning, Sheehan took to his personal Facebook page, posting a public apology for his actions.
I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for my actions in an incident yesterday in Bloomfield. I want everyone to know how truly sorry I am for leaving my dog in my car on hot day.
By way of explanation, I driving him to the park when I unwisely stopped to run an errand – dropping my son’s phone off to be repaired and thinking I’d be quick. When I returned a concerned person had smashed my window and the police had been called. Even though I didn’t think I’d been gone long, I realize now that even a few minutes away could be a danger to the dog I love. That’s something a person in my position should have been well aware, but unfortunately, I had a serious lapse in judgment for which I have no one to blame but myself. I want you to know that I take full responsibility for this thoughtless mistake.
The dog, Bentley, is a prized member of our family, and I am sickened to think I could have harmed him in any way. I am relieved to report that he is fine.
Perhaps, if some good can come of this, my bad judgment can be a teachable moment for others to leave their dogs home when doing tasks that don’t involve them. I know I will.
While there were still many followers who took the opportunity to express feelings that the dog should be taken away, or that Sheehan should drop the charges against the good samaritan, the majority of those following the post have accepted his apology.
*PBRTV originally did not post direct links to either Mr. Lee’s or Mr. Sheehan’s Facebook posts as they are both on personal pages, however it was later determined that both were being shared on many other sources.