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How to Help Dogs Left in Hot Cars

How to Help Dogs Left in Hot Cars

Do you know what to do if you see a dog left unattended in a car on a hot day? With the record breaking heat this summer, it’s even more dangerous for dogs to be left in cars where the temperatures can reach near 115 degrees in as short as half an hour. Never leave your pet unattended in a car, no matter how short of a trip you think you are making. Here are tips from the ASPCA on what to do if you see a dog left alone in a car.

Step 1: Try to Locate the Pet Parent
If you can’t see anyone near by, go into the store and ask that they page for the people over the loudspeaker. Most stores are happy to do this for you.

Step 2: Educate
If the owners show up, nicely explain the dangers of leaving their pet in a hot car. If they don’t show up go onto step 3.

Step 3: Call 911
Fourteen states have enacted specific laws that protect dogs in hot cars. Even if it’s not a law in your state, depending on the condition of the dog it could constitute cruelty.

For more information visit the ASPCA website.

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134 comments

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5:53PM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

I have been abused by a dog owner when I draw his attention that his dog was suffering inside his locked car...I think something should be done to resolve this problem...

7:53PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Is it not the 311 that we have to call? I just read an article about this!

9:33AM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

12:30PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

L E E., I think your story is fabricated. While I agree that people should be more careful about what they assume, and take into consideration conditions of temperature, the dog in the vehicle, and how long the owner has been away and how much they themselves have tried to locate the owner of the car and dog, it is ALWAYS the responsibility of the owner to make sure their animal is safe. If the police came right away, as you say, maybe the conditions WERE too hot for your dog to be in the car rather than the police "being right in the parking lot", as you seem to think. Ask yourself these questions: could you have dropped your dog off before renting the cleaning machine? Did you know how long it was going to take you rent the machine? What if there was a line? Were you prepared to wait and leave Spot in the car? Nortoriously, people who's dogs end up in distress in vehicles will say, "I was only in the store for a few minutes."

9:28PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

I lost a friend over this issue. She saw me in the parking lot one day at the grocery store and wanted to know why I didn't have my dog with me. "He loves riding in the car!" she stated. (She knew, because she watched him for me sometimes.) I told her the weather was way too hot to have him in the car, (it was probably 95 already and it was only 10 a.m.!) I said, "Please do not take him in the car with you if you ever have him when it is this hot out!" Her Chow Chow was in her car, with the window down about 2 inches while she went into the air conditioned store. We actually never spoke again after this incident and I may have saved my dog's life.

4:38PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

I prefer quick decisive action: smash the car window with a brick...I carry one in my car in the summer for just such an emergency! ;-)

5:41AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Or, crash the car's window and save the dog's life.

12:49PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

how about every one leave their dogs at home when it is too hot take them out in the evenings when it is cooling down

9:44AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I left my Lhasa Apso in my (in the shad) car with every window down about three inches for, literally five minutes or less when I stopped to rent a shampooer from Safeway. I kept an eye on my little guy the whole time.

I was moving and this was the last stop before getting into my new place. As soon as I entered the store I noticed the gal who'd pulled in next to my car as I got out of my car, had called the police; they must have been in the parking lot, because they were instantly there.

The guy who rented the shampooer to me, and I watched how in disbelief how ridiculous the whole seen was, after all, the woman saw me get out of my car, and knew I'd just entered the store!

The police man just said for me to be more careful, and left, no big deal. He realized that the woman was out of line.

Sometimes people make things out to be much worse than they really are, which was in my case. You've got to take into consideration all evidence; was the dog panting heavily, was the windows up, how hot is it outside, was the car parked in the sun . . . In my case none of those things were so.

6:06AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

My dream job: Kommandant of a concentration camp for animal abusers and puppy mill owners. Just like Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List... pickin' 'em off for fun with his scoped rifle. And I could sleep sweetly afterwards!!

911 is govt. sponsored dial-a prayer here. I'd have to take it to smash-the-window level here to get any response at all.

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