Hot cars and dogs don’t mix!

It’s been hot, very very hot, these last few months. The heat coupled with prolonged quarantine and social distancing measures has people feeling cooped up and restless. If you want to get out and about, that’s great, but we highly recommend leaving your dog at home while the temperatures are in the upper 80s, 90s and beyond.

Most people know that leaving your dog in a hot car is dangerous, but some believe that Fido will be fine if the windows are cracked. This thought process is incorrect and can put your pets in grave danger. According to the American Kennel Club, “It doesn’t have to be super hot outside for your car to heat up. The inside of a vehicle parked in 70-degree weather can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. On very hot days, temperatures inside parked cars can climb to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in less than one hour.” Moreover, a parked car with the windows cracked heats up at almost the exact same rate as one with the windows up. In short, cracked windows are not a viable solution.

You might be wondering what to do if you see a dog in a hot car and feel it might be in danger. While breaking into a car to save a dog from health concerns associated with heat is not legal in the state of Georgia, there are still steps you can take to save a dog that’s locked in a hot car.

  1. Note the make, model, and license plate number of the car.
  2. If the car is in a parking lot associated with a local business, ask the manager to make an announcement in the store.
  3. If the owner cannot be located quickly, call a non-emergency number for the local police.

It’s important to remember that many people truly do not know how dangerous it can be to lock dogs in hot cars. If you do approach someone about leaving their dog locked in the car, try to remain calm and respectful; you’re much more likely to get a positive outcome that way.
If you’d like to advocate for this issue on a larger scale, visit the Humane Society’s website to download flyers to post in your community. There are also several types of car decals online for purchase too.
Today’s take away: be informed, be cautious, and don’t lock your dog in a hot car!

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