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