July 15, 2011 – After a Charleston, South Carolina grandmother left two children and a dog in her car while shopping at Walmart on July 13, RedRover, a Sacramento-based nonprofit animal protection organization, is imploring area pet owners to leave their dogs at home if they are running errands or visiting businesses that do not allow pets. Enclosed cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures quickly, even when it is relatively mild outside.
“People often leave their dogs in the car while they shop or run errands, but doing so can literally be a death sentence for your pet,” said RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “You might think you will be gone for ‘just a minute,’ but every second counts for a dog or child left in a hot car. If it’s hot outside, leave your dog at home, and never leave your children unattended in a car.”
Forsyth offered five reasons why leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly:
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet.
Even seemingly mild days are dangerous. In a Stanford University study, when it was 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees within one hour. When it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.
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.
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.
Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a vehicle’s internal temperature.
According to news reports, the woman left the two children and a dog in the car for an hour while she shopped at Walmart in West Ashley. The outside temperature at that time was near 100 degrees.
“People are under the misconception that dogs are tougher than humans are, that they can handle the heat,” Forsyth said. “But the reality is, they are more susceptible to high temperatures and depend on us to keep them safe.”
If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call your local animal control agency or police immediately.
To learn more about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars and to download educational materials to share with others, visit www.MyDogIsCool.com
MEDIA CONTACT: (916) 429-2457
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
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