Remember that warm weather isn’t always a day at the beach for our furry friends. Little is more heartbreaking than seeing a helpless animal suffering in the heat, especially confined to the anguish of waiting alone in a hot car.
“Every year, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car—even for “just a minute”—while they run an errand. Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: On a 78 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes,” PETA reported.
“Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: On a 78 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes,” — PETA
To drive this common sense point home, veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward closed himself in a car blasted by the afternoon sun, armed with a thermometer, a clock, and a video camera. (Please watch and share his video, here.) Though he left all four windows cracked, the concession many pet owners make thinking it has some cooling effect, after a few short minutes the vet regretfully explains that the air in the car was stifling despite the breeze outside.
He’s merely sitting still in the driver’s seat, but Dr. Ward quickly grows soaked in sweat and notes that dogs do not have that function to cool their bodies down, and that an anxious dog is going to be pacing, barking, and moving around. Shade also makes little difference– a car parked in the shade is still influenced by the outside ambient temperature, and if left long enough a car in the shade can be out in the open as the sun moves across the sky throughout the day. When his demonstration is over, the doctor’s car had reached an oppressive, and life-threatening, 116 degrees.
Leave your own pets at home when temperatures are high, and please don’t be afraid to help an animal imprisoned in a locked vehicle, you could be saving their life. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, a woman tech-savvy enough to use Facebook recently posted on a local dog beach’s page and asked who to notify when she saw a dog left in a car. Don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1! “If you see something, say something,” the ASPCA pleads. “If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. Local law officials have the ability to enter vehicle and rescue the pet. Do not leave until help has arrived.” — Casandra Armour