Child and Dog Deaths Prompt New ‘Too Hot for Spot and Tot!’ Warning Ads in Texas

Ahead of National Heatstroke Prevention Day, PETA Launches Campaign to Save Individuals From Dying in Parked Cars

For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382


Every year, children and dogs die in hot cars across the country—and already this summer, 23 children and at least 21 dogs have died after being left inside parked cars, including three children in the Dallas–Fort Worth area and three dogs who were just reported to have died in Fort Worth. So PETA plans to hit Dallas with new ads that proclaim, “Too Hot for Spot and Tot!” The new campaign, available for download here, comes just in time for National Heatstroke Prevention Day (July 31) and points out that forgetfulness—being distracted by running into a friend, taking a phone call, or otherwise being delayed—is often the cause of such fatalities.

On a 78-degree day, when someone might think there’s no risk, there is: 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. Dogs—whose primary way of cooling themselves is 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.

“Even a ‘quick errand’ can end in tragedy, as kids and dogs can bake to death inside a parked car within just minutes,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is reminding drivers that the safest place for our most vulnerable family members is inside the home, where it’s nice and cool.”

PETA urges anyone who sees an animal or a child left alone inside a car to call humane authorities or 911 immediately and remain on the scene until the situation has been resolved. If authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the individual’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness who will back up your assessment before carefully removing them from the car. (PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help intervening in these life-or-death situations.) With dogs, treat suspected heatstroke by wrapping a cool, wet towel around the animal’s head and neck, and when authorities arrive, ensure that the animal is taken to a veterinarian for care.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that at least five dogs have been rescued from hot cars in near misses across the state. The group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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