What To Do and What To Look For When You See a Dog in a Car
With one of the hottest summers we have had in a while - temperatures scorching above 40 degrees and no cool breeze to cool you off - we need to keep our dogs safe and cool. Unfortunately, every summer their seems to be issues with dogs being left in hot cars. The dangers of leaving your dog in a car that is not running and even with window cracked, is that it creates a sauna where temperatures rise at a exponential rate. Just try sitting in you car without the AC on for even 10 minutes...and imagine a dog in that. When the car is actually off, without windows significantly down and in the blazing summer heat, something needs to be done right away to be sure that the dog is safe.
Here is a list of precautions that each person should be sure to take when they see a dog in a car during high temperatures:
- SEE IF THE VEHICLE IS RUNNING! Before you assume that a vehicle is off just because you see a dog in it check to see if the engine is still left running. With that being said, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK! If there is a dog in a car when it is hot out, you NEED to see that the vehicle is running.
- Look to see if the keys are in the ignition. if for some reason you cannot tell if the car is running or not, check to see if the keys are in the ignition or not.
- Are the doors unlocked? Check the handle and see if the door is open, this will also be a sign of a running vehicle. It will also allow you to slightly feel the temperature. (With this, be careful because you are opening a door with an animal in it that may not be friendly, be sure to only open it just a bit).
- How is the dog acting? Aside from the barking that may be happening due to a stranger approaching their vehicle. Is the dog trying to get out? Is the dog heavily panting? Can you see white lines on the dog's tongue suggesting the dog is dehydrated? OR is the dog relaxed? Are they sleeping? Overall, does the dog seem distressed?
- If there is a number on the vehicle, CALL IT! If there is a way to reach the owner directly and express your concern regarding their dog and to get them to get their dog out of the hot car.
- Once you have done the above steps, and you see that the car is not running and the dog HAS been left in a hot car - search for the owner. Ask around if people say someone leave this car, go into the nearest building to the car and look for the owner.
- If you cannot find the owner record the vehicle information and call the SPCA or the cops. Report the issue and wait by the car until help arrives and the dog is safely removed from the vehicle. (DO NOT resort to breaking a window until all prior steps have fully followed through)
During this whole en-devour keep track of the state of the dogs state and the length of time the dog is in the car. This is very important information!
Keep you dogs safe and cool this summer!
Tail wags from the Completek9 team!