As record high temperatures scorch much of the United States, RedRover, a national nonprofit animal protection organization, is reminding pet owners to avoid leaving their dogs in hot cars a practice that can lead to serious illness and even death.
“Often people leave their dogs in the car while they shop or run errands, but doing so when the weather is warm can literally be a death sentence for your pet,” said RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth.
Forsyth offered five reasons why leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly:
1. Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet.
2. Even on seemingly mild days, an enclosed car can be deadly. In a Stanford University study, when it was 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees within one hour.
3. Enclosed cars heat up quickly. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.
4. A dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.
5. Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a vehicle’s internal temperature.
RedRover has received numerous reports of dogs being left in hot cars this summer. “We are imploring pet owners, please, never leave your dog in a car in warm weather,” Forsyth said. “It’s like putting someone you love in an oven and walking away.”
To learn more about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars and download educational fliers and posters, visit www.MyDogIsCool.com.
RedRover (formerly United Animal Nations) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at www.redrover.org