PETA Seeks Warning Messages in Map Apps and Stores After Numerous Hot Car Deaths

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2 min read

This year alone, at least 34 dogs and 23 children have died after being left inside sweltering vehicles—and it’s only July. That’s why PETA is urging stores and navigation apps to do their part.

This week, PETA is writing to stores—including Costco, Kroger, Lowe’s, Publix, and Target—to urge them to place advisory signs on their lots and doors encouraging drivers not to leave dogs and kids in hot cars because it takes only a few minutes for children and animals to die of heatstroke inside a parked vehicle. Last week, we wrote to Google and Apple to urge the tech giants to update their map apps so that each navigation program concludes its instructions with a voice command and a pop-up notification reminding drivers never to leave children or animals in cars. We’ve also asked Waze to add dogs to its default reminder, which currently warns drivers not to forget their children in cars.

In its letters to the companies, PETA notes that on a relatively mild 78 degree farenheit / 25 degree celcuis day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100*F / 38*C in just minutes, and on a 90-degree farenheit / 32 degree celsius day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109*F / 43*C in less than 10 minutes. When children are left in a hot vehicle, their body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s, and because dogs can cool themselves only by sweating through their paw pads and panting, they can suffer from heatstroke in just minutes.

A parked car can be a death trap for children and dogs who can’t escape as temperatures soar and their bodies shut down. PETA is urging these companies to help prevent 2017 from becoming a record year for horrific deaths by heatstroke.

Car companies have already joined the effort—Tesla introduced a “Cabin Overheat Protection” feature, and General Motors developed a “Rear Seat Reminder.” PETA hopes that other top retail and grocery chains will join the Whole Foods and Walmart stores that have added warning signs to their parking lots and store windows.

What to Do if You See a Dog in a Hot Car

If you saw someone trapped in a hot car, would you know exactly what to do?

PETA encourages those who see a child or a dog in a parked car to take down the vehicle’s color, model, make, and license-plate number. If the car is in a store’s parking lot, they should quickly have the owner paged over the store’s intercom. Otherwise, they should call local humane authorities or police. They shouldn’t leave until the individual is safely out of the car and should consider doing whatever it takes to get the child or animal to safety. Click the button below to learn more.

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