Instead of featuring a specific dog this Sunday, we want to be certain everyone can say, “My Dog Is Cool.”
It’s an education program from the animal protection organization RedRover designed to draw attention to the dangers faced by dogs left in cars in warm weather.
With air conditioned vehicles, people sometimes forget just how quickly the inside of a car can heat up. The group cites a Stanford University study, “... even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car's internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all.”
Someone who just intended to run into a shop for a quick errand could come out to find their dog in trouble. Or, they could come out to find their car window broken by a police officer who was trying to save the pup. Remember, those walking by a car don’t know how long the dog has been left there or how long you will be.
What To Do
Suppose you see a dog in a hot car, what should you do? First, observe the dog. Is she showing any signs of distress such as excessive panting or drooling, stumbling, disorientation, or loss of consciousness?
Write down the car’s license plate, make, model, and specifically where it is located and call 911. See if you can get someone else to check nearby shops to locate the driver while you wait for the police.
Veterinarian in a Hot Car
Dr Ernie Ward, a veterinarian, made a video of himself sitting in a car on a warm day with all four windows cracked. He explained, as he went along, what would be happening to a dog left under those conditions as the temperature in the car reached triple digits. If you have a few minutes, it’s definitely worth a look.
And, please, spread the word to anyone who thinks they can safely leave a pet in a parked car on a warm day, even for a short time.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: courtesy of RedRover