Leaving Pets in Parked Cars is STILL a Bad Idea

Every summer, pet owners are warned about the dangers of leaving pets locked in parked cars where temperatures can quickly rise on hot days, even when the windows are cracked open. Yet, every year innocent pets pay the price, and this summer was no exception.

During the last weekend of June, two women on both sides of the United States were arrested on charges of animal cruelty after they carelessly left their dogs alone, locked inside hot cars.

At 4p.m. on Friday, June 28, police in Pleasant Hill, CA were called to rescue a boxer pup from a locked car in a downtown parking garage. The windows of the car were cracked open, but the opening didn’t give “sufficient ventilation” for the dog to breathe. The officer on the scene had to force his way into the car. He then rushed the boxer to a nearby veterinary hospital where the dog died.

“The canine was unable to recover,” said Sgt. David Nichols. The temperature in the Bay Area town was 100 degrees.

Angela Kleinfeld, who owned the boxer was identified and arrested on “suspicion of cruelty to animals.”

During the same weekend, police arrested Allison M. Olone, a New Hampshire woman who was visiting a beach in Maine, after her small terrier was found frantically pawing at the front passenger window of her car. The windows of the car were rolled down about 4 inches, but it didn’t stop the temperature from rising inside the vehicle to more than 90 degrees. There was food found in the car, but no water.

Police and animal control officers freed the dog who is recovering from heat stroke. At the time of her arrest, Olone explained that she didn’t leave water in the car because her dog spills it.

While there are reminders and campaigns every summer warning pet owners to “Never Leave A Pet In A Parked Car,” hundreds of dogs experience heat stroke or worse each year. Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital said, “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time — even with the windows open — which could lead to fatal heat stroke.”

In order to prevent heat-related deaths, it’s important to become familiar with the symptoms of heat stroke in animals. In the article “What to Do When You See A Dog in a Hot Car,” Laura Simpson details some of the warnings signs, which include: excessive panting, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness and ultimately collapse. Dogs can also have seizures, diarrhea and vomit as their body temperatures rise. Pets with flat faces like Pugs and Persian cats are even more susceptible because they cannot pant as effectively as other animals.

Simpson also advises people to call 911 right away if they see a dog in distress inside a parked car.

The ASPCA offers other valuable tips to keep pets safe during the hot summer months:

  • Animals can get dehydrated quickly so keep plenty of fresh, clean water when a pet is outdoors.
  • Never leave a pet unsupervised around a pool as not all dogs are good swimmers.
  • When the temperatures soar, keep daily walks to a minimum. Hot asphalt and sidewalks can burn the pads on a dog’s paws.
  • Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but do not shave the coat. The layers of a dog’s coat protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brush cats more often in the summer to get rid of excessive fur.
  • Be sure to use sunscreen and bug repellent products that are specifically approved for pets.
  • Never leave a pet in a parked car, especially during the summer months.

Pets rely on us 100 percent to take care of them and keep them safe. By applying a little common sense this summer, we can keep them out of danger.

Photo Credit: mcmorgan08

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Sheri D.
Sheri D.1 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

Pets are like kids, why would you leave them outside in a car??

Stacey Toda
Stacey Toda2 years ago

I never understand why people do this. THERE IS NEVER ANY REASON TO LEAVE A PET IN A CAR. If the pet can't go in with you, leave them at home.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright2 years ago

John C posts: "There are times that leaving a pet in the car is unavoidable."

I am very hard pressed to think of a time where leaving a pet in a car is unavoidable. Please enlighten us.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright2 years ago

WHY are we STILL reading about these idiots leaving animals in hot cars??????? You really can't fix stupid.

Many, many issues regarding animal safety and animal rights really get to me but this is near the top of the long list. These deaths are 1000% preventable.

LEAVE YOUR PETS AT HOME.............it's as simple as that. Why can't you idiots learn????
If YOU can't sit in a hot vehicle for more than a few seconds before being affected then your animal can't either. Try it..........it's miserable and unbearable even for a few seconds. And it's deadly.

Geez, these stories really anger me.

Gill K.
gIllian Kilroy2 years ago

this is also a big issue with me and I am constantly commenting on FB about it as it seems every day some idiot is still doing this. We are having an unusual heatwave here in the UK and still people do it. Leave your pets at home for goodness sake. A window, even if open all the way down is not enough! It makes me so sad too for these poor animals have no choice and are completely under the control of these totally insensitive people who put themselves first. so frustrating!

Vivian B.
Vivian B.2 years ago

I cannot believe that people are so stupid to believe that this is a good thing to do! It doesn't matter how long you leave them. It doesn't take any time at all for the temp.to skyrocket! And with the heat + humidity, it is just flat cruelty to an animal or children to do this to them!
If I have to leave an animal in my car, which I NEVER do, I would leave the air conditioner on. And you can't do that with children, because they may put the car in gear.
It is just flat STUPID and careless to do this. I cry a little when I see this and wait to make sure the animal doesn't get in trouble.
Why isn't there more attention put on this in the summer? There should be daily reminders on TV, radio, and online!
Thank you for.letting me spout off. I am kinda enthusiastic about this.

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetis2 years ago

These idiots who lock their pets in hot cars need to be flogged, then made to endure the heat for hours inside of that hot car !!! Stupid ass cretins !!!
Shared on Facebook.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Sharon, for Sharing this!