Tomorrow is the first official day of Summer and as always, people will still leave their children and pets in their cars for “just a minute”. We all know it’s a crime to do it to a child…but did you know it’s a crime to leave a dog or cat in a hot car as well?
I did find a great website at www.MyDogIsCool.com, which gives excellent information about the dangers of leaving dogs in cars…they even provide flyers you can print off and keep in your car.
If you see a dog left in a car in the heat and it appears to be an emergency situation – of course – call it in (although I’m not sure if that would be Animal Control, the non-emergency police line or the emergency police line, to be honest…so you decide what’s appropriate for you and the situation). If it doesn’t appear to be an emergency situation and you want to leave a polite and educational flyer on their windshield, you can download one by clicking here.
United Animal Nations points out that dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their bodies like humans do, so the main way they can cool off is by panting, which isn’t very efficient. A dog’s normal temperature is about 101 degrees and once a dog’s body temperature surpasses about 106 degrees…the result can be everything from nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, systematic organ failure. And it happens in a matter of minutes.
When it’s 72 degrees, a car in direct sun can reach an internal temperature of 116. Even in the shade, a car can be 10 to 20 degrees hotter than outdoors, and cracking the window has almost no effect.
So if you like, print off the flyer, cut it in three and put it in your glove box for the next time you see someone in need of education on animal welfare!
UPDATE: Fan Lisa Reckard provided the link to the statute that makes it unlawful to leave a cat or dog in a parked or unattended car during periods of extreme heat or cold and in fact, it is a misdemeanor.
You can find the statute by clicking here…and here’s who is allowed to “use any force that is reasonable or necesseary” to remove the animal:
- Any Peace Officer
- Officer of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals who is authorized to make arrests
- Animal Control Officer
- Government Office or employee whose primary duty is to ensure public safety
- Employee or volunteer of any organized fire department
- Member of a search and rescue organization organized under the direct supervision of a sheriff.