Friday, June 22, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

    The dog days of summer can be very dangerous to a pet. Especially pets left in hot cars, every year countless pets die, after being locked in while owners work,shop, or run errands. These tragic deaths are entirely preventable. Most people are aware every year, children die being left in hot cars during the hot weather. Fewer know that countless pets die terrible deaths because these incidents are rarely reported.The combination of warm weather and a closed car can literally be a killer for pets. Even leaving a pet for  "just a minute" can lead to tragic consequences.Some reasons why leaving a pet in a hot car can be deadly include:

 Pets are especially vulnerable  to heat related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet.
Even on seemingly mild days an enclosed car can be deadly. In a Stanford University study, when it was 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees within one hour.
~Enclosed cars heat up quickly. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.

A pet’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a pet can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

What you should do if you see a animal left in a hot car is,  call the police, the local animal control agency or 911 right away.Leave your name and phone number with the person who takes the call in case the responding officers need more information.take down the car's color, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the store, or call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the pet. Don't leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.Cracking the windows is not going to save a pet. Many pets show excitement/anxiety, barking, and general activity while their humans are gone, and this can add to the heatstroke risk.

It might be easy to look the other way. Stay out of other people's business. The owner must be coming right back to the pet in the car, right? Maybe not. Just how hot is it in there? Studies have shown that even on a "cool" day of 82F, the temperature can reach 109F inside a closed car in minutes.
Each year, animals die in cars. If you saw an animal left unattended in a car, would you call for assistance? Have you helped animals in this way before?You may save a life.


  1. Barbara and MysticJune 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Thank you for printing this article! Yes, I have helped an animal before in this situation! It's cruel and abusive to leave an animal in a car for ANY REASON! Don't take the pet with you if you can't take it out of the car, PERIOD! I actually broke the windows of a car when I came across this situation and I would do it again if I saw it again.

  2. A city in Canada has made it illegal to leave an animal in a car at anytime...maybe this needs to spread.!

  3. Thanks Barbara and Mystic! No animal should be left in a car at any time. Sophie, I think all the states should have that law!

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