What to do if you see a dog alone in a hot car

Pets

Help dogs become accustomed to the car by letting them explore while the car is parked. Verbally praise them and give them treats to help them grow more comfortable, building up from short rides around the block to longer trips.

(KLFY) — As the summer months roll through, high temperatures pose a threat for pets’ lives.

So far this year, there have been 10 heat-related animal deaths. PETA urges that pet owners take extra measures to combat pet heat strokes/deaths during hot weather months:

  • Touch the pavement to ensure that it won’t burn dogs’ foot pads
  • Be alert to a long, curled-up tongue and heavy panting, as dogs cannot sweat and heat builds up inside their bodies
  • Walk in the shade, on earth or grass, and never leave animals outdoors in extreme heat or in vehicles

According to PETA, on a 70-degree day, the temperature inside one car can rise to 99 degrees in 20 minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can rise to as high as 109 degrees in 10 minutes.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Dogs can only cool themselves by panting.

Here’s what you can do if you see a dog alone in a hot car:

  • Take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number
  • Have the owner paged in close-by buildings
  • Call local humane authorities or police
  • Have someone keep an eye on the dog
  • Don’t leave the scene until the situation is resolved

PETA advises that if the authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal from the car, and then wait for authorities to arrive.

To read more on how to address situations involving animals left alone in hot places, visit PETA.

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