Sadly, most pet owners don't know the dangers of leaving their pet in a parked car for just a little bit. They believe that cracking the windows open is sufficient enough for them to run in and make a quick pit stop. THIS IS NOT TRUE. "Automobile temperatures can very quickly rise to dangerous levels; the average temperature increase in a parked car is 40 degrees, and the majority of this increase occurs in the first 15 to 30 minutes," says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees after 30 minutes!
Dogs do NOT cool themselves down as easily as people and once they overheat they can suffer organ damage or death.
The steps you should follow if you see a pet abandoned in a car:
Step 1: Try to Locate the Pet Parent
You can ask the store to try to locate the pet parent over the loud speaker. Time is of the essence if you don't think this can be done in a timely manner go ahead and call 911 so they can at least come and work to save the animal while you look for the owners.
Step 2: Educate
Explain the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car. Many shelters offer pamphlets with more information on them. Go to My Dog Is Cool to download and print, or order fliers that you can pass out with educational information on it.
Step 3: Call 911
This sounds drastic but that's how serious the matter is. 911 is the quickest, if needed they can get you through to your local animal services. Fourteen states have enacted specific laws that protect dogs in hot cars, as have many municipalities—but even in places lacking such a law, leaving an animal in a hot car may constitute cruelty. Click HERE for more information on the laws in those 14 states. I hope Florida becomes state # 15 SOON.
Step 4: Pat Yourself on the Back
Pets are counting on people like you to save their lives.
Also, be sure to read my post from a few weeks back on Summer Pet Safety for more tips for the summer. You can never be too safe. Keep your furbabies healthy and cool.