Texas Woman Creates ‘Barking Garage’ for Dogs of Shoppers

The Barking Garage

Every summer, hundreds of dogs die when their owners leave them in their cars while they go shopping. Even with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a car can quickly soar to well over 100 degrees.

Last month, Kansas City police officer Jeff O’Rear adopted the Chihuahua he saved from a hot car July 25. That same day, in Kansas City alone, four other dogs were rescued from hot cars. Two of them did not survive.

The best thing to do is leave your dog at home, in a cool place with plenty of water. But for those pet parents who absolutely cannot leave home without their dogs, a Texas woman has come up with a way to help keep those pets safe.

A light bulb didn’t immediately go on over Dr. Mary Traverse’s head. For a few years, the human and animal chiropractor from Oatmeal, a small town about 40 miles from Austin, has been trying to come up with an idea.

“I live a little bit outside of town and I love to have my dogs with me, but I just can’t stand it. I can’t even run into the grocery store,” Traverse told KVUE. “A lot of times, I make a special trip back into town on a Saturday to run my errands just because my dogs would be safe.”

Last month, Traverse made her idea a reality. She bought a car hauler, added insulation and air conditioning to the interior, and filled it with colorful small, medium and large cages, each with a water bowl. She painted the exterior yellow, adding the company logo and the invitation to “Park Your Dog Here While You Shop.”

The Barking Garage cages

The Barking Garage officially opened for business July 25 at the Gateway Shopping Center in Austin. It’s only available Saturdays and Sundays.

“Anytime the facility is open there is someone there with [the dogs],” according to The Barking Garage’s Facebook page. “And the [dog] owner is the only person who handles the dog; she puts her dog in its own crate.”

The rates start at $10 per hour, with a 30-minute minimum.

After four days in business, The Barking Garage has had three customers, according to its Facebook page.

Gary Biggers, dog dad of a Huskie, told KVUE he might bring his furry pooch the next time he visits the shopping center. 

“I don’t know what’s in [the car hauler] but I know its cool,” Biggers said. “Huskies are hot in the summer, especially here, so I think that’s a great idea and I want to see more of those pop up…To save your pet’s life, just to put him in there while you’re shopping…because before you know it, 45 minutes go by and poor Fido is in the car.”

Would you leave your dog in the Barking Garage while you shopped? Please leave a comment below.

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Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!