See a dog in a hot car?

See a dog in a hot car?

If your dog is anything like Bart, he or she loves car rides. Bart’s mom understands that leaving Bart in the car in the summer months can be dangerous for him and we all want to be sure your four-legged friends are safe too. Here’s what to do if you see a dog in a hot car this summer.

Did you know that even if it doesn’t seem excessively hot outside, it can be very hot inside the car? When it’s 72°F outside, it takes only an hour to reach 116°F in the car. As the temperature rises, the time it takes to become too hot inside the car decreases. When it’s 80°F outside, it takes only 10 minutes to reach 99°F inside the car.

Many pet owners roll down windows in hot weather believing this will keep their pets more comfortable. Although it increases air flow, it has very little effect on the overall temperature inside the car.

Extended exposure to temperatures that high can cause permanent organ damage or even death. Keep your dog safe and leave it at home on really hot days. If you happen across a dog  in a hot car by an uninformed pet parent, the Humane Society of the United States recommends the following steps.

  1. Take down the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate
  2. Ask employees of businesses in the area to use their public address system to try to locate the owner and alert them of the situation
  3. If the owner cannot be found, call the non-emergency police number and wait by the car for them to arrive. If the location has a law enabling Good Samaritans to rescue dogs trapped in hot cars and you feel the animal is in distress, don’t wait, get the dog out and and wait with it by the car for animal control officials to arrive.

You can also help by spreading the word and asking local business owners to post flyers reminding people about the dangers of leaving their pet in a hot car. To go above and beyond on this issue, learn about your local and state laws regarding leaving pets in hot cars – many states allow Good Samaritans to rescue the animals regardless of destruction to the vehicle.

If your town or state is one of the few that doesn’t have a law prohibiting leaving pets in hot cars, you can become an activist to lobby for one. Not only will you help the animals, you’ll learn a lot about local government too.

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Sarah Woodard is a freelance writer based in Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys bringing stories, issues and topics to life with words and pictures. In addition to writing, Sarah is a beekeeper, Reiki Master Teacher and black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and playing with their four cats.

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