Kimiko Glenn’s Orange Is the New Black character, Brook Soso, is very much the activist among her fellow inmates in the show’s minimum-security women’s federal prison. Now, the actor is taking on activism for herself, and she’s putting heat on people by reminding them never to leave animals inside hot parked cars.
It’s our duty to help animals in need and keep them safe. Animals left in hot cars are no exception.
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car with the windows slightly open can reach over 90 degrees within 10 minutes, while the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach a temperature of 125 to 130 degrees in less than an hour. Can you imagine the agony of being helplessly trapped inside a steel coffin while wearing a fur coat and being cooked from the inside out?
Watch Kimiko’s video, in which she explains that—because she grew up in the hot state of Arizona—she is super-aware of just how quickly a car can heat up in the sun.
Dogs can regulate their body temperature only by panting or sweating through their paw pads, so being confined to a hot environment without relief can quickly trigger heatstroke and shock. Animals who suffer from heatstroke can sustain brain damage or die in just 15 minutes. It’s also common for a frightened dog to scratch his or her paws bloody while trying to escape from the car.
If you ever see a dog locked inside a hot car, take action. Alert local businesses to page the car’s owner; call local humane authorities, police, or 911 (this is an emergency); never leave the animal until help arrives; and if the guardian or authorities don’t arrive in a timely manner, find witnesses and take other measures to free the distressed animal. Each year, more and more states are passing “Good Samaritan” laws, enabling a person to smash a car’s window in order to save a dog (or child) in imminent danger. Be sure to check the laws in your state. Do whatever it takes.