Leaving dogs in cars

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It is not unusual to see dogs and other animals left in vehicles while their parents attend to other business. However, he/she could be at risk for serious injuries or even death when they are left in a parked car.

Dog in hot car, summer

Mild weather can be misleading. The temperature outside might be a 78 degree fahrenheit (25 degree celsius) day, but the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 fahrenheit (38 degree celsius) in just a few minutes. On a 90-degree fahrenheit (32 degree celsius) day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 120 fahrenheit (49 degree celsius) in a matter of minutes.

Studies have shown that cracking a window changes these figures very little. A parked car with the windows cracked heats up at almost the exact same rate as a car with the windows rolled up, putting pets in serious danger. 

If you see an animal in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress:

  • Call your local animal care and control agency or police department immediately.
  • Take down the car’s color, make, model, and license-plate number.
  • If you can’t find the owner and authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the dog appears to be in imminent danger, do whatever it takes to remove the suffering animal from the car. Every second counts, act quick!

As summer gets underway, the risk of heat stroke, both inside and outside of cars, grows. Make sure that your family, friends, and neighbors know not to leave dogs in hot cars ever and keep your fur babies happy and healthy all summer!  

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