Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Temperatures Are Rising: Be a Dog Defender: Help Save Animals This Summer! Cool Ideas for Hot Dogs

Summer is a season for celebrations—the Fourth of July, beach trips, picnics in the park, and (vegan) barbecues! However, it can be a very dangerous time for dogs. Every year, countless dogs die after overheating inside parked cars. We need you to be a dog defender by looking out for dogs who are locked in hot cars.

On a relatively mild 70-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 120 degrees in minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Leaving your dog in the car while you run errands could lead to tragedy. You can be the difference between life and death for dogs this summer.

A Naples, Florida, man was convicted of cruelty when his dog died after being locked in a car for four hours on a warm day. The dead dog’s temperature was still almost 110ºF a full two hours after police removed him from the car. The man was sentenced to six months in jail and slapped with a $1,000 fine for “animal cruelty by abandonment.”

“I always try to have sympathy for defendants before making a decision,” the sentencing judge told the man. “I don’t have any sympathy for you.”

Why was the judge so unsympathetic? Because he believed that the man, a doctor, should have known better than to leave a dog in a car for hours with one window cracked open just an inch. Indeed, all of us should know better, especially when temperatures climb into the 80s and 90s. But even a mild day can be dangerous. Recently, a dog died after being locked in a parked car on a sunny, 67°F day in Albany, New York, even though the car windows had allegedly been left open a crack.

During the “dog days” of summer, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well above 100ºF in just a matter of minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.

Heatstroke can come on quickly and result in brain damage or death. Watch for symptoms such as restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, or lack of coordination. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, get her or him into the shade immediately and call your veterinarian. Lower the animal’s body temperature gradually by providing water to drink, applying a cold towel or ice pack to the head, neck, and chest, or immersing the dog in lukewarm (not cold) water.

“Every summer, we hear about tragedies that could have been prevented,” says PETA casework division manager Martin Mersereau. “Many people don’t realize how quickly animals left in a hot car or outside without shade or water can succumb to the heat.”

Prevent Heatstroke by Taking These Precautions:

Never leave a dog in a parked car. On a mild 73ºF day, the temperature inside a car can reach 120ºF in 30 minutes. On a 90ºF day, the interior of a vehicle can reach 160ºF in minutes.

If you see a dog in a car and in distress, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license-plate number, have the owner paged inside nearby stores, and call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal, and then wait for authorities to arrive. Contact PETA for a supply of fliers on the dangers of heatstroke to leave on windshields.

Don’t carry your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. This is always dangerous, but the heat brings the added danger of burning the dog’s feet on the hot metal.

Don’t take your dog jogging—except on cool mornings or evenings—and don’t force exercise. On long walks, rest often and take plenty of water. Hot pavement can burn dogs’ paws; choose shady, grassy routes.

Trim heavy-coated dogs’ fur, but leave an inch for protection against insects and sunburn. Keep an eye on areas where hair is thin, like eyelids, ears, and nose as they can get sunburned.

Keep your dog indoors. If he or she must stay outside for long, avoid the hottest part of the day. Provide shade, water, and a kiddie pool. Keep drinking water in an anchored bucket or a heavy bowl that won’t tip over.

Be a watchdog for chained dogs. Make sure that they have food, water, and shelter. If you see a dog in distress, contact humane authorities. Give the dog immediate relief by providing water.

Donate NowYou can improve the lives of dogs and cats suffering from cruelty and neglect.

With summer right around the corner, please sign up to receive your “Too Hot for Spot” online action kit! You will receive a printable version of the “Too Hot for Spot” leaflet. Leave the leaflets on windshields of parked cars to remind people about the dangers of leaving unattended animals inside hot vehicles. The online action kit will also include various online resources to help you spread the word to your friends and family.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals


Thousands of dogs die in hot cars each year. Don’t let it happen to yours ( or any pet you see)


Photo: Rebecca Poling

Friday in Southern California a woman left 18 dogs in a parked van intending to be gone only a few minutes.  But apparently her errand took longer than expected.  When animal control authorities were called an hour later, the temperature in the van was 100 degrees.  The dogs were alive, but many were in obvious distress.  The temperature that day was only 76 degrees.

Saturday in Texas we hit 100 degrees for the first time this year.  When it is this hot, it takes less than ten minutes for the inside of a car to reach 120 degrees, even with the windows cracked.  A dog can suffer brain damage at 107 and die at 120.  Even in the morning when it’s cooler, the temperature in your car can increase 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.  No matter how much your dog loves to go along when you run errands, please don’t take a chance.  Leave him home where he is safe.

If you are out shopping and you see a dog locked in a hot car, tell the manager of the store immediately.  Don’t be shy. A smart store manager will know how much his business will suffer if a dog dies in a car in his parking lot and will act quickly.  If that doesn’t work, don’t wait – call 911 immediately and ask the Fire/Rescue be sent.  If the dispatcher hesitates, make sure they understand that your next call will be the media.

It’s a simple message: If you care about your dog, never leave him unattended in a hot car even for a minute.

For more info: United Animal Nation’s My Dog Is Cool website has information to help you spread the word about the dangers of leaving pets in cars.

UAN’s My Dog is Cool Campaign is designed to,

  • Get the word out to individuals and communities about the dangers of hot cars through our life-saving Don’t Leave Me in Here — It’s Hot! Fliers, posters, and other educational materials.
  • Educate the media and the general public, as well as police, emergency workers, and city officials, about steps to take to prevent dogs from dying in hot cars.
  • Remind others not to leave their dogs in parked cars with materials like our “A hot oven or a hot car” poster and our “Hot Temperature” warning sign.

Follow the links at the top of this page to learn how you can help save lives this summer. Or contact us at info@uan.org for more information.

Posted:  Just One More Pet – It is not okay to do nothing, whether it is your pet or not!

June 8, 2010 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments