Written by Michelle Kretzer
It shouldn't happen to any dog, let
alone those who are serving and protecting their communities as K9 officers. Numerous
police dogs lost their lives this summer not at the hands of criminals but at
the hands of the very officers who were supposed to protect them—and instead left them to suffer from heatstroke inside hot patrol cars. PETA is aiming to make those brave K9 victims the last ones, with urgent pleas
to police departments across the country asking them to install heat-alert systems in all K9 patrol cars.
Heat-alert systems monitor the
temperature inside the vehicle and can sound an alarm, page an officer, start
an engine, roll down a window and turn on a fan, or even open a door when the
car gets too hot. A simple device such as this would have saved the lives of Sasha, a police dog in Warwick,
Georgia; Harley from Des Moines,
Iowa; Vegas and Hades of San
Antonio, Texas; and the many other K9 officers who lost their lives just this past summer.
Many K9 officers now wear bulletproof
vests to protect them from gunshots, but heatstroke may be an even more
agonizing way to die. As the dogs' internal temperature rises, they often begin
to salivate heavily and lose control of their bladder and bowels, and shock may
set in. They become terrified and often struggle to escape the vehicle, clawing the car windows and seats so violently that their paws become bloodied.
No dog should ever be left alone in a car on a
warm day. But if a police officer decides to leave a K9 officer in the car to
protect the dog from a potentially deadly situation, he or she needs to make
sure that the car doesn't become one, too.
Written by PETA
The first day of summer hasn't even arrived yet, and at least seven dogs across the country have already died after being left in hot vehicles, including dogs in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maryland, and Ohio.
At Jacksonville University in Florida, campus security officers were too late to save a dog who was left in a parking lot for 90 minutes in a car with one window barely cracked. In San Antonio, a parking attendant called animal control after finding two dogs trapped in a car. By the time help arrived, one dog was already dead and the other was in severe distress.
As these cases tragically illustrate, dogs left inside hot cars can quickly succumb to heatstroke. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees in minutes. When the temperatures are in the 90s, as they have been recently in much of the country, even a few minutes in a car can be fatal.
If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. If there is a business nearby, try having the car's owner paged. Do not leave the dog until help has arrived. And unless you're visiting a store like Canadian Tire in Langford, British Columbia, whose owner, Tim Curry, invites dogs to come inside instead of staying in a hot car, let Spot stay at home in air-conditioned comfort.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Spring is here—and with rising temperatures come the all-too-familiar stories about dogs who are left in cars where they suffer and die from heatstroke.
One such case has prompted PETA to support cruelty charges against two women—a mother and daughter team—who are accused of leaving nine dogs unattended in a truck outside a PetSmart store in Warner Robins Georgia on a day when the temperature reached a high of 86 degrees. When the women finally returned to their vehicle, four puppies and an adult dog had reportedly died of heatstroke—and one of the four survivors had to be euthanized, according to police.
… and, elsewhere, another dog cooks to death in a hot car.
Common sense steers most adults clear of certain threats, like smoking in bed, eating rancid leftovers, and leaving the kiddies in the car while you chug beers and ogle strippers. A man in Florida apparently didn't get the memo on that last one.
Yes, we're disgusted. But are we surprised? Not really, because PETA and KIDS AND CARS, an organization we teamed up with last year, both receive countless complaints regarding dogs and children who are left unattended in hot cars.
According to KIDS AND CARS, hyperthermia—a rapid and often fatal rise in body temperature—is the third-leading cause of death in children in vehicular incidents that are unrelated to traffic.
And PETA receives alarming reports of dogs who succumb to heatstroke within minutes when people fail to realize how little time it takes for a car interior to heat up. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a car can climb to 97 degrees in just 10 minutes. Dogs can only cool themselves by panting, so they can quickly succumb to heatstroke and suffer brain damage or death.
Rolling down the car windows slightly does not offer adequate relief.
Please remind everyone you know that it's always best to leave the children and the dogs at home with the A/C (and a sitter) on "errand days" as well as "stripper nights."
Written by Karin Bennett
Back in October, we told you about the geniuses (sarcasm alert) in Clay County, Florida, who decided that the best way to figure out whether a dog had died from heatstroke when an animal control officer left her in a sweltering truck was to—wait for it—put another dog in the sweltering truck and see if that dog would suffer horribly too. (Fortunately, he survived and was returned to the city animal shelter.)
Like I said: geniuses.
As you might expect, we filed a criminal complaint, but the prosecutor's office refused to take the case. So, because the Clay County brain trust had decided that they were qualified to conduct experiments on animals, we filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) because this impromptu experiment appeared to violate numerous Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations.
Now, the USDA has cited Clay County Animal Control for no less than five—count 'em, five—violations of the AWA. From the USDA's memo:
Clay County Animal Control does not have an IACUC [Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee]. No protocol was prepared, and a veterinarian was not consulted for this project. There were no searches for alternatives, nor were there any attempts to demonstrate that this project did not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments.
The animal control brainiacs said that they didn't think that this kind of atrocity experiment was regulated, but, as the USDA official dryly noted, "I explained to them that this was." Apparently, the explanation was slow enough and used one-syllable words, because the violators understood it well enough to assure the USDA that "they will not perform any research activity in the future." Phew!
Clay County's dogs (and other animals) should be able to rest easier—and so should the human residents, as it's now likely that county officials will think twice before deciding that they're qualified to, say, perform open-heart surgery.
Written by Jeff Mackey
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.