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.


Annie H.
Annie Habout a year ago

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Barbra Raymond
Barbra Raymond3 years ago

Great tips! But, when you find the owner ask him if would like to be left in a hot car and then put him in a hot car with no way out for an hour. I have no sympathy for stupid pet parents.

Wendy C.
Wendy C3 years ago

Hot cars kill! Learn the laws Save a life! Read:

Olimpia Marina
olimpia Marina3 years ago

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...

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

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

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

jude m.
judith mignacca5 years ago

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."

Lisa Gray
Lisa Gray5 years ago

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.

jude m.
judith mignacca5 years ago

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! ;-)

Valentina R.
Valentina R5 years ago

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