I worked in the veterinary field for more than ten years, and in that time, I have seen way too many animals die of heat stroke because they were left in the car. And although most of my work experience was in Arizona, I also worked in Idaho and Utah where it is significantly cooler, and yet just as many dogs died because the dog owners weren’t as vigilant about the heat. At least most Arizonans are familiar with this being a potential problem and try to be proactive about it. People don’t realize that even when it feels relatively cool outside, the car can heat up far beyond the outside temperature.
The saddest case happened when one of our clients rushed his Springer Spaniel into the clinic. He was obviously DOA and at first we thought he had drowned because he was dripping wet. Later we found out that the owner had pulled into his driveway and left the car door open as he ran into the house to get something. However, plans changed so he went back outside, turned off the car and shut the door on his way back inside. The dog often tried to go on car rides with his owner by hiding in the backseat of the car and then jumping into the front seat while on the road when it was too late to turn back. While the owner was inside the house with the car door open the springer got in and hid behind the seat. The owner didn’t realize he was in the car until he found him several hours later. The reason he was dripping wet was because the distraught owner tried cooling his best friend in the pool before bringing him into the clinic, but it was already too late. The reason I shared that story is to let you know leaving animals in the car is not always intentional.
This video shows Tyrann Mathieu, an NFL safety who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, sitting in a car to demonstrate what happens to your pets when you make them wait in a vehicle while you run errands.
He makes some valid points while baking in the car. Dogs are family and you need to treat your family, even the animals, like family. NEVER leave your dogs in the car. Unlike Tyrann, they can’t open the car door and get out on their own. Personally, I’m not a fan of PETA who sponsored this video, but it is an important message and something worth sharing if only it helps one person to be more aware of potential dangers, not only for their own pets but for others as well. Instead of shaking your head when you see a dog in a parked car, save a life by treating it as the emergency it is and report it to 911 immediately.
No one plans to cause their pets harm, but it happens every day. If you plan on leaving your pet in the car, then it would be best to leave them at home instead where they can escape the heat.
Just in case you were wondering why I’m not a fan of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk who is the PETA President, said they don’t advocate for the life of animals and that it, “Would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether”. As far as I can tell, the reason so many animals are killed (90% within the first 24 hours) is because they don’t feel it is right to keep them in a cage and they would be happier if they were dead instead of being locked up even for the short length of time it might take to actually adopt them out. I’m not sure why so many people blindly donate to their cause without even knowing what that cause is. The ASPCA is just as bad. If you really want to help animals, I would recommend donating to your local shelter where your money will actually go towards their care rather than programs like the ASPCA and PETA.