For Immediate Release:
August 6, 2019
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Tucson, Ariz. – Following recent reports that a police officer had to rescue a kitten who was left in a hot car outside a Walmart store in Tucson, PETA is issuing an urgent warning about the importance of never leaving animals in hot vehicles. Since last year, there have been at least 101 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Cats, who can’t sweat, and dogs, who don’t sweat and can cool themselves only by panting, can rapidly succumb to heatstroke, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside.
Anyone who leaves an animal to bake to death in a vehicle could face felony cruelty charges.
If you see a cat or dog left alone in a hot car, call local humane authorities or the police. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved. If the authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the animal’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment. Then remove the suffering animal from the car and wait for authorities to arrive. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in these life-or-death situations.