Posted in Doggies on 06. Jun, 2012
The story below was sent to me by one of my loyal readers a couple of years ago and when the temps in Indy climbed to above 100 a couple of weeks ago I decided to pull this story and share it.
From Subscriber Michelle:
“Yesterday my daughter and I went to her high school to get her schedule. When we were walking through the parking lot, I saw an old friend who happens to work for animal control in our town. When we walked up to talk, I saw that he was parked next to a small Suburu car. In the very back of the car was a beautiful golden retriever. The dog was very hot and panting heavily. Only the two front windows were cracked about an inch each. We live in the mountains in the Lake Tahoe area. We live at about 6,500 feet elevation. Even though it was only about 80 degrees, the temp gauge he dropped in the car read 101.5. He was waiting for the police department to witness his opening of the car. Someone had seen this person at our local grocery store, and had called animal control and then followed them to the High School. The person showed up and we left in order for him to do his job. I found out that it is a $100 fine for a first time and it would be a felony if the dog would have passed away. We live in California, and I am happy that we have laws for this. This is inexcusable! The person who called animal control helped save this dog’s life. We as animal lovers can help! Don’t walk away and not get involved! Animal control officers do care and they will help!”
This story ended with a happy ending but it could very well have gone the other way if someone wouldn’t have called for help or followed the person to their next destination. A lot of people say they don’t have the time to wait or they don’t want to get involved. Please do not walk away from these types of situations because many dogs have died this way. It’s a horrible way to die and it’s not necessary.
There is still debate about whether or not to leave your pets in your car while you run into a store. Why this is debatable is beyond me. To me it seems like common sense. Would you leave a child in the car without the air on? Temperatures in your car rise rapidly, turning your car into an oven, even when parked in the shade.
A study from Stanford University in 2005 shows that even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car’s internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all. Even if it’s 60 degrees outside, and you are parked in the shade, the temperature inside your car can rise causing the inside of your car to basically act like an oven.
To those that want to debate this I challenge you to do this. Put a sweater or jacket on, sit in your car with the windows cracked. You can even park in the shade. When you get hot you can open the door and get out. However, should this be a real situation your dog would not be able to just open the door and get out. Dogs will not always show signs of being uncomfortable and they can’t tell you that it’s too hot in the car.
Jan Null, CCM, Adjunct Professor of Meteorology, SFSU
Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles:
The first 2010 death of a child left inside a hot vehicle in the United States has occurred in Florida. Last year there were a total of at least 33 such fatalities in the United States due to hyperthermia after they were left in hot cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s. Since 1998 there have been at least a total of 445 of these needless tragedies. This study shows that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly.
To see more about the statistics posted by Jan Null, CCM click here.
My point here is this: You would not leave a child in the car, so why would you leave your pet? There is a great informational website called MyDogIsCool.com, a website that can help people save dogs from dying in hot cars this summer. You can also visit the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States for more information.
I want to thank Michelle for sharing this story with us, so that we could pass it along to you. Don’t stand by and watch something like this happen. Be a voice for those that cannot speak. It’s the difference between life and death. This story ended on a good note but it very well could have ended badly. I applaud the person who called 911 and then followed the person. I hope this teaches them a lesson.