Updated: Jun 16, 2022
Every summer there are stories about people who have left their pets locked in their car in 95+ degree weather.. In each case, when caught, they are charged with Animal Cruelty, a joke in itself with the penalties that are given. In many of these cases the dog dies, so charging the owner doesn’t do anything for the dog. For anyone who would leave a dog in a parked car, please do NOT own a pet. You are just not smart or caring enough and the dog deserves so much better than you.
Some people think nothing of leaving their dog in a parked car while they "go inside for just a few minutes." An hour or more later, they come out to find their dog dead in the car.. If you even think of leaving your dog in a parked car on a hot day, I challenge you to try the experiment highlighted below.
It takes only minutes for a pet left in a vehicle on a warm day to succumb to heatstroke and suffocation. Most people don't realize or stop to think how hot it can get in a parked car on a balmy day. On a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees -- and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun!
Even when the outside air temperature is in the 60s, temperatures inside some vehicles can reach the danger zone on bright, sunny days. So many experts recommend not to leave pets in parked cars even for short periods.
Rolling down a window or parking in the shade doesn't guarantee protection, since temperatures can still climb into the danger zone. And if the window is rolled down sufficiently, the pet can escape. Also, if a passer-by claims he or she was bitten through the car window, the pet owner will be liable.
What about leaving the dog in the car with the air-conditioning running? Many people do this, but tragedy can strike -- and it has. For example, a police dog died after the air-conditioning in the patrol car shut down and began blowing hot air. The air system's compressor kicked off because the engine got too hot. Many cars, including modern models with computerized functions, are prone to the same problem.
Try this experiment on a hot summer day. Drive your car to the mall, park in the sun, roll up the windows, turn off the air conditioner and see if you can sit there for ten minutes without sweating, finding it difficult to breathe or panicking. Use an interior thermometer and watch the temperature climb steadily. Now, think of your dog:
Animals are not able to sweat like humans do. Dogs cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws. If they have only overheated air to breathe, animals can collapse, suffer brain damage and possibly die of heatstroke. Just 15 minutes can be enough for an animal's body temperature to climb from a normal 102.5 to deadly levels that will damage the nervous and cardiovascular systems, often leaving the animal comatose, dehydrated and at risk of permanent impairment or death.
* Leave your dog at home on warm days.
* On trips with your pet, bring plenty of fresh drinking water and bowl.
* Don't let dogs ride loose in pick-up truck beds. The hot metal can burn a dog's paws, the sun and flying debris can hurt the dog, the dog can accidentally be thrown out of the truck if the brakes are suddenly applied, and the dog can jump out if scared or if he/she sees something interesting to chase. Instead, use a crate to create a safer space for the dog if you can't fit the dog inside the truck cab.
* Take the dog into the shade, an air conditioned area, or to the vet if you see signs of heat exhaustion, which include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, dark tongue, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, dizziness, or lack of coordination. To lower body temperature gradually, give the animal water to drink, place a cold towel or ice pack on the head, neck and chest, and/or immerse the dog in cool (not cold) water. Call your veterinarian.
If you see a pet in a vehicle on a hot day, take immediate action:
* Note the car make, model, color and tag number, (or take a picture of it) then go to the nearest stores and ask the managers to page the owner.
* Call the police, which usually can respond much faster than can animal control departments. The police have the capability to enter the vehicle and rescue the pet.
a dogmom, calling the police if I see a dog in a car on a hot day!