Flashdance star Jennifer Beals is being called out for leaving her dog in a hot car on a Vancouver street on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Global News, Beals was caught on film approaching her Ford Escape about five minutes after leaving her dog inside the vehicle with the passenger-side window open a few inches.
In the footage, Beals, 51, is confronted by a worried onlooker.
“It’s fine,” Beals says in response to the person’s concerns. “Thank you.”
“It’s fine, okay,” the passerby replies. “Just letting you know I am reporting this.”
Marcie Moriarty of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals disagrees with Beals. With temperatures reaching 77 degrees that day, reports the New York Daily News, she believes a cracked window wasn’t enough to protect the dog.
“That’s a German shepherd-type dog it looks like they’re already carrying a coat on them,” Moriarty says in reference to the clip. “In this temperature, I don’t think that would necessarily create the type of cooling effect that would ever be sufficient.”
Beals sent a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday in response to the incident.
“I have loved dogs my whole life. They’ve been in my life since the day I was born. Every dog I’ve had has been a rescue. I would never ever jeopardize an animal’s safety. Ever. I’ve worked with dogs in obedience, agility and shepherding training. I am not only a loving dog owner but a discerning one,” Beals said.
“The morning was a cool 73 degrees. I and others were wearing jackets. I rolled all four windows down and left the car for five minutes to pick up laundry, my car visible to me the entire time. I wondered why two people were congregated by my car taking pictures of my girl. Proud mama thought it was because she’s so gorgeous. While I appreciate their vigilance and what must have felt like courage on their part, they were barking up the wrong tree.”
Numerous dogs have died this summer after being left in hot cars, including several police dogs who have been forgotten in police vehicles.