Leaving a dog in an enclosed car, even with windows cracked, can be dangerous and deadly
(June 29, 2010) – Amid news that Scottsdale, Arizona theatre chain owner Dan Harkins left his dog in the car while he saw a movie, United Animal Nations (UAN) is imploring Arizona pet owners to take the ”My Dog is Cool” pledge to never leave their dogs in an enclosed vehicle during warm weather. Doing so 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 UAN 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’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; 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 car’s internal temperature.
“The temperature regularly reaches triple digits in Arizona, so it is clearly not a place where people should leave a dog unattended in an enclosed vehicle for any length of time,” Forsyth said. “We’ve heard of many well-meaning pet owners all over the country whose dogs have died simply because they weren’t aware of the dangers hot cars present.”
UAN’s www.MyDogIsCool.com Web site offers free, downloadable educational information and a “hot weather” alert that pet owners can use to find out if it’s too hot to leave a dog in the car.
Anyone who sees a dog in distress in a hot car should call animal control, the police or 911 immediately.
United Animal Nations (UAN) 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.uan.org