What To Do If You See A Dog In A Hot Car

Image source: @AllieKF via Flickr
Image source: @AllieKF via Flickr

There has, unfortunately, been a lot of cases this summer of police having to rescue dogs left in cars on hot days. Just this week a cop saved the life of a dog sitting in a car with an estimated temperature of 114-119 degrees Fahrenheit. You may be wondering, “What should I do if I see a dog in a hot car?” The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) conducted a survey last year and sadly, one third of adults said they did nothing when they were faced with the choice.

  • 93% who had never encountered a dog in a hot car claimed they would do something.
  • 51% of those who saw or heard a dog in a hot car made attempts to look for the owner, making it the most common action taken
  • 24% said they made attempts to rescue the dog themselves
  • 23% called the police

Let’s save lives by changing this statistic!

“Taking decisive action when you see a dog left in a hot car is critical during these warm months,” said Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “There is a startling gap between those who state they would act and those who actually did something when faced with the reality of a dog at risk.”

According to the ASPCA, on a 85-degree day, it only takes 10 MINUTES for the inside of your car to reach 102 degrees, even when the windows have been left open an inch or two! 

Image source: @SteveBaker via Flickr
Image source: @SteveBaker via Flickr

Within 30 minutes, the car’s interior can reach 120-degrees!

Think 70 degrees is pleasant? Even at 70, your car can be as much as 20 degrees hotter!

So what should you do to save a life if you see a dog in car?

The ASPCA suggest the following steps:

  1. Immediately call 911 or your local animal control.
  2. Go to the businesses nearby and let the managers know so they can make an emergency announcement in case the owner is in the store.
  3. Go back and stay with the pet until help arrives.
Image source: @TaroTheShibaInu
Image source: @TaroTheShibaInu

To help prevent people from leaving their dogs in cars, you can download, print and distribute the ASPCA’s “Overheating Kills” flyer.  Own a business? Hang this flyer in your window and allow people to bring their well-mannered pets into your store to discourage them from leaving them in the car while they shop.

And remember, in many states it is against the law to leave your dog in a hot car – it’s a form of animal cruelty so don’t do it yourself and report those who do.

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