Every year. Without fail. We hear of dog deaths from hot cars. Even with the window down, your pet can overheat to the point of death, in just minutes. Small dogs like Morkies are even more susceptible since their body mass is much smaller. So why does this continue to happen?
We underestimate just how hot the car can get
At 41C (106F) your dog will suffer from irreparable brain damage or death.
We don’t understand how dogs deal with heat
Unlike us, dogs have very limited ability to cool themselves down. They don’t sweat – except a small amount from their paw pads. A dog’s normal body temperature is 39 degrees centigrade, or 102 degrees Fahrenheit. In a car or truck that’s superheated in just minutes to 7 degrees, they don’t have a chance.
Besides, “I cracked the window for him,” we also hear:
It wasn’t that hot for me, or
I wasn’t going to be that long.
People care about their pets. In fact, they care enough to want them with them in the car. They just don’t think.
So if you see a dog locked in a car or truck on a hot day, please take immediate steps. Call the police and the local humane society. I’m not telling you to break a window, but please do whatever it takes to save a life.
It’s easy to do – so why not just leave your dog at home? A couple of summers ago, even the POLICE left a dog in a super-hot cruiser and the dog died. It’s a terribly sad story:
Jeg was left in a hot police car for over an hour; officer Korey Lankow is “emotionally ruined” by the incident.
When Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Korey Lankow switched squad cars last Wednesday before responding to a rollover crash, his mind was focused on the job at hand.
Unfortunately, in the midst of changing vehicles and responding to the emergency, Lankow forgot that his partner, 7-year-old Belgian Malinois Jeg, was sitting quietly in the backseat of the first squad car.
With outdoor temperatures of approximately 98 degrees in Tucson, Ariz., on the day of the incident, Lankow’s squad car reached between 100 and 115 degrees, with poor Jeg locked inside the vehicle.
After an hour passed, Lankow realized that he’d forgotten Jeg in the back of the other squad car. In a panic, he raced back to headquarters, where he found Jeg overcome by heatstroke. The Tuscon Fire Department was called to respond, and in the meantime, Lankow tried desperately to cool Jeg down with water and ice.
Jeg was rushed to the Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center for treatment Wednesday afternoon. While his condition initially appeared to improve, by Thursday afternoon, the dog took a turn for the worse.
Veterinarians explained that Jeg had suffered irreparable organ damage due to prolonged exposure to the extreme heat inside the squad car and, despite all efforts, would not recover. Officer Lankow, along with his family and Canine District Commander Captain Jenna Mitchell, stood by Jeg’s side when at 2:35 p.m. July 12, the Belgian Malinois was put to sleep.
Dogs left in hot cars are a problem every year. Dogs can’t sweat like we do, to reduce body heat and cool down. So left for a few minutes in a hot car, they die. Hundreds every year.
It shouldn't be that hard to understand.
It should be simple, after all the news reports of dogs left in hot cars who tragically die. But apparently, it’s not so simple for some people. Dogster reports:
On June 29, Angela Kleinfeld was arrested after her dog died in her hot car in Pleasant Hill, California. Outside temperatures were more than 100 degrees. Police broke into the car and took the dog to the Vet, but they were too late.
A day later, police rescued a cat and dog from a hot car in St. Helena, California, as the owner was off wine tasting. It was 94 degrees “in the shade,” said St. Helena Sgt. Scott Fleming. “On concrete, in a car half in the sun, it was much hotter than that. It was an oven in there.”
A day later, police charged a New Hampshire woman with cruelty to animals after allegedly finding her dog in a hot car in the Short Sands Beach parking lot in Maine. The dog was “panting and looking distressed.” The owner arrived and was “rude,” and said she didn’t leave water in the car because the dog spills it.
Is it really possible some people just don’t get it?
A study from Stanford University shows that even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car’s internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all.
Surely we all know this. But people will still ‘run into the store for a minute’ and leave their dog to die. Really really dumb people like Angela Kleinfeld, the woman whose dog died, above, in a car in California.
Even a short time in a hot car is too long
A dog’s normal body temperature is about 102.2° F (39° C). If the dog’s temperature gets up to 105.8° F (41° C), irreversible brain damage and death can occur. Just a 3-degree difference between life and death.
8 DUMBEST REASONS TO LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A HOT CAR
I was just going in for a minute.
I cracked the window.
It’s cloudy outside.
The roof was open.
It wasn’t that hot outside.
He loves warmth.
I forgot about him.
Dogs aren’t allowed in the store.
DO THE RIGHT THING
The problem is so widespread that 27 states now have lawsabout pets left unattended in vehicles. Some laws ban the practice outright, while others protect police and citizens if they break into the vehicle to rescue the pet.
Don’t hesitate, say law enforcement officials. Call 911 right away. Do the right thing and intervene to save a life.