Leaving a pet in a car even for ‘just a minute while you run in to grab a coffee’ can be a death sentence. Often pet parents think if they crack the windows the pet will be okay for the duration of a grocery shopping trip. Not so.
“Automobile temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels; the average temperature increase in a parked car is 40 degrees, and the majority of this increase occurs in the first 15 to 30 minutes.” says The Humane Animal Clinic. When it’s 80 degrees outside, inside your car can be a staggering 102 degrees after 15 minutes. Even with the windows left slightly open, the temperature can reach 120 degrees in just half an hour.
And unlike humans, dogs can not fan themselves or open the door for cooler air. They are stuck inside the vehicle-oven and will overheat quickly. A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering brain damage – or even death, according to the Animal Protection Institute.What steps should you take if you see an abandoned dog in a car?
- Record information about the vehicle (make, model, color and license plate number)
- Alert the management of the business
- Call the police or local animal control
- Stay with the dog until help arrives
14 states have enacted specific laws that protect dogs in hot cars, but sadly Florida is not one of them. Even so, if the dog dies this can count as animal cruelty. Call Collier County Domestic Animal Services, phone number (239) 252-PETS or the police (239) 774-4434.