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By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 at 9:08 am in Hot Cars.

Every year, dogs die after being left inside cars for “just a few minutes.”
Memorial Day weekend promises to be sunny and warm and maybe even hot, depending on the fog. Fortunately, just in time, The Animal Protection Institute (API, a national nonprofit animal welfare group in Sacramento has sent out the following information:

API has launched its summer initiative, “My Dog is Cool,” to save dogs and other animals from dying in hot cars during warm-weather months.

Every year, dogs die after being locked inside cars while their humans leave them, often for “just a few minutes.” These tragedies occur with alarming frequency, yet the animals’ deaths are completely preventable.

“As the summer heats up, it’s important that people be made aware of the dangers of leaving companion animals inside hot cars,” says API’s director of legal and government affairs, Nicole Paquette. “People mean well by taking their dog or other animal along with them while they work, visit, shop, or run errands, but warm weather can literally turn a car into a death trap.”

** NOTE: A Stanford University test found that even if it’s only 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can rocket to 116 degrees within an hour. Hundreds of dogs are unintentionally killed or injured each year by being left in hot cars, even with windows cracked and only for a short time.

The lifesaving Web site is a free, friendly resource to help spread the word about the dangers of hot cars. Resources include downloadable posters and “It’s hot!” flyers that can be used when a dog is left in a hot car, and an “Is it Too Hot?” weather forecasting tool that allows you to just enter your zip code and see if it’s too hot to take your pal along in the car.

The site provides everything you need to know to keep dogs safe and happy during hot weather.

The Animal Protection Institute is a national nonprofit animal advocacy organization working to end animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation and public education. For more information, visit

** Other things to keep in mind on warm/hot days:

Indoor Animals — Make sure your house doesn’t turn into an oven during the day while you’re at work. If you don’t have an air conditioner, leave as many windows partially open as you can to keep the air circulating. Moving air is important. Your dog or cat will follow the air currents around to find the most comfortable spot.

You can help by filling several liter-size plastic Coke/Pepsi bottles with water and freezing them. (Don’t fill them too full because ice expands.) Leave them lying on the floor around the house in places where your pets like to hang out. They can snuggle up against the icy bottles and keep at least a little cooler.

If you have an aquarium or fish bowl full of fish, make sure the sun doesn’t shine on them as it moves past your windows. Warm water loses oxygen, and a fish in a sunny aquarium can have trouble breathing and actually “drown.”

Outdoor Animals — If your dog or cat spends the day in the back yard, it would be great if they had a dog/cat door that would let them come inside to cool off. If they don’t (how about a doggy door into the garage?), you need to make sure they have some shady spots to get out of the sun and plenty of water to drink so they can stay hydrated.

Give the ground under bushes or in shady areas a good watering before you go to work so your dog has a place to stay comfortable. You can always give your pal a bath later.

Drinking Water — Whether your pets stay inside or out, make sure they have plenty of cool, clean water to drink. Leave several large bowls in different parts of your house or yard where your pets like to go and make sure they stay out of the sun so the water doesn’t get too hot to drink.

Some Tips — Here are a couple of important points from an ASPCA News Alert on hot weather:
1. Exercise your dog in the cool of the early morning or evening, never when it’s hot. Be careful not to let your dog stand on hot asphalt or cement, as its sensitive paw pads can easily burn.

2. Some animals need extra special care in hot weather, especially those who are elderly and overweight, or have heart or lung disease. Hopefully, you know who you are.

Thanks for caring. /Gary

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2 Responses to “DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS”

  1. Jean Pantaleo Says:

    I live in Imperial County, California. I went Wal- Mart for an errand. I noticed a small Poodle in a car near my car. The windows were cracked about 2 inches, but it was hot and the dog was barking and Panting heavily. I went into the store and 15 min. later, I came out to see the little dog still inside this hot car. I called the police and the Security Guard as it was almost 30 mins. by now. I also asked the Security Guard at the store, to use the PA system to find owners. No luck. About 10 mins. later a Patrol Car rolled up with two officers in it. The dog was in the car at least 35 to 40 minutes by now. One of the Cops was quite rude to me as I expressed my concern about the dog. He said they met the law by cracking the windows. The other Cop found the couple in the store and they told the cop they were only in the store for 10 mins! Can you tell me the Current CA STATE Law regarding this problem? I heard there was a new one recently passed. Thanks, jean

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