It may seem like common sense but with the most sizzling days of summer approaching pet owners are repeatedly reminded not to leave dogs in cars. Several petitions circulating on Change.org are specifically geared to enact laws which will make leaving pets in vehicles during sweltering temperatures illegal. Why do senseless pet deaths continue to happen? Do pet owners realize how deadly hot the temperatures are in a vehicle even with windows cracked? Do pet owners understand the full effect this type of stress places on an animals system and how quickly this stress can escalate to death?
Important facts to know about vehicle temperatures and your pet:
A dog’s normal resting body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees. Imagine lying on a Florida beach at noon in the middle of July wearing a fur coat and stocking cap. Dogs can only tolerate a high body temperature for a few short minutes before suffering heatstroke, heart and nerve problems, liver failure, brain damage or even death.
Research studies have determined that cracking a window has little effect on a car’s internal temperature. Check out the videos above. A study at Stanford University showed that even when it's 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature quickly rose to 116 degrees within an hour.
What should you do if you see a dog in distress inside a vehicle? Call 911. Wait for an officer to arrive unless the dog is in obvious panic which includes excessive panting or near collapse. If the vehicle is parked outside of a store go inside and ask the manager to make an announcement. Don't allow any animal to suffer this summer. Breaking the glass of a vehicle to remove a child in heat distress is legal. Animal advocates and responsible dog owners would like to extend laws to include compassion for all suffering. If dogs could speak they would plead with their owners, "Please, don't leave me. I wouldn't leave you."