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Chihuahua takes joyride in Slidell, police say we're lucky no one was hurt

The Facebook video sparked a conversation in our newsroom. Is it safe and OK to pump gas with your engine still running?

SLIDELL, La. — We shared a video on our Facebook page that caught your attention. In fact, 10,000 of you stopped to look at it.  

It happened in Port St. Lucie, Florida. An out-of-control car hitting a mailbox, garbage cans and some bricks. And then just this past Friday evening, it happened in Slidell. 

In both cases, the "driver" was a dog. 

"We can laugh about it now that a five-pound Chihuahua did this, right? The reality is that we were inches away from a bad tragedy from happening the other day," Slidell Police Public Information Officer Daniel Seuzeneau said. 

In Florida, it was a Labrador Retriever, but at the Circle K on Gause and Robert Boulevards, a Chihuahua hit the car in reverse. The car was running while the owner was pumping gas. She tries to stop it, thinking it's just in neutral but gets knocked down hurting her ankle. She tries to get in, but once in gear, the doors had locked.

"She could have easily been run over by that vehicle and then you saw how close it came to cars driving up and down Gause Boulevard," Seuzeneau said about the busy four-lane street. 

The car ended up across the street, hitting a pump that's shut down due to renovation. Thankfully, the construction workers had already left for the day. Police say if the engine would have been off, this incident would not have happened.

The Facebook video sparked a conversation in our newsroom. Is it safe and OK to pump gas with your engine still running? 

According to the Slidell Fire Department,  there are three elements there ripe to ignite a fire, heat, combustion and a very flammable liquid. So the answer is no. 

And is it ever okay to leave your pup in a running car? That depends on which dog owners you ask. We stopped by a dog park in Slidell.

"Absolutely not. No. One, because I mean, she's a nervous wreck in the car so that would just make her feel even more nervous that I wasn't there," said Stephanie Lassiter about her Collie 'Harley.'

"I actually pop the trunk just in case they lock me out again, so they have done that. And just today, she learned how to roll the window down," said Mike Johnson, about his two Great Pyrenees-Mountain Cur mixes, Diamond and Trinity. 

Man's best friend is smarter than you think.

Slidell Police say the car had a mechanical problem that allowed it to be put in reverse without having a foot on the brake.

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