In the aftermath of the recent death of a Marietta, Georgia, toddler who succumbed to hyperthermia after his father left him in a parked vehicle, PETA has reached out to Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin asking him to place our “Time Expired” public service advisory on all of the city’s parking meters. Our ad reminds people parking their cars that no living being—human or canine— should ever be left unattended in warm weather.
Children and animals left in cars can be in serious danger, even when the driver runs inside a store for “just a minute.” An unexpected delay or a distraction can end with a fatality. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows cracked. Children and dogs are especially at risk because a child’s body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s, and dogs can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Dogs can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
In a video for PETA, actor Elisabetta Canalis illustrates what animals experience as they succumb to heatstroke:
What You Can Do
If you see a distressed child or animal alone in a car on a hot day and believe he or she is in danger, take action immediately. Call 911 and stress that it is an emergency. Do not leave the scene until the occupant is rescued.