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What To DO When You See an Animal Trapped in a Hot Car

Posted By Jaimini Shah     August 26, 2016    


What To Do When You See an Animal Trapped in a Hot Car

There is are a lot of clueless or downright cruel people that leave dogs, cats and other companion animals alone in hot cars.  And with the summer months upon us I want to reiterate that leaving an animal alone in a hot car – even for few minutes in the shade or with the windows cracked can kill an animal or the animal can sustain brain damage from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) states that “on day that is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, 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.”  If external temperatures reach up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it can get up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit inside of car.

  1. Write down the Car’s Make, Model, and License Plate Number.  If car parked near building, go inside and see if you can find out the owner.
  2. Find an Authority Figure Nearby – Police Officer, Security Guard or parking lot attendant. In many counties and states, leaving animals in hot cars is illegal, and in those situations they can break a window to get the animal out.
  3.  If no Officer is Nearby, call the Police who has the authority to rescue the animal and depending on the laws in the area can usually press charges against the pet’s guardian.
  4. If the Police are slow to respond, contact your local Animal Control Center and let them know it is an emergency.
  5. Watch for signs of distress in the animal such as restlessness, panting heavily, lethargic, unusually dark tongue, lack of coordination or bloody diarrhea.  If you notice these signs the animal is in severe distress and needs help immediately.
  6. No respond from the Authorities, try opening the door.  If car is unlocked, take the animal out to a cool area, preferably indoors or in an air-conditioned car.  Give them cold water and continue to try to locate the guardian.  

Best Practice is to leave your beloved pet in the cool AC rather than bringing them with you to run errands.


Here’s What To Do When You See an Animal Trapped in a Hot Car -

Dogs in Hot Cars and on Hot Pavement -

Contributed by Davyd Sharp