Dog Rescue at Golden Corral Prompts Call for Signs: ‘Hot Cars Kill!’

As Temperatures Soar, PETA Asks Restaurant Chain to Help by Informing Customers That Heatstroke Can Strike in Only Minutes Inside a Parked Vehicle

For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Raleigh, N.C.

Today, PETA sent an urgent letter calling on Golden Corral to install signs in its parking lots alerting customers to the danger of leaving animals alone in a car. The appeal follows news that police responded to a call about a dog left in a hot car outside a Golden Corral restaurant in Shelby, North Carolina, on August 7. The dog was panting heavily when police arrived and had reportedly been in the car for at least 20 minutes before they tracked down the dog’s owner, who they cited for cruelty to animals.

“On even a mild summer day, it takes only minutes for the temperature inside a parked car to climb to deadly heights,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging Golden Corral to join the numerous businesses that have posted parking lot signs reminding everyone that parked cars are death traps for dogs.”

Since 2019, at least 78 animals have died from heat-related causes—and those are only the deaths that have been reported. Most aren’t. Regency Centers and Phillips Edison & Company have responded to this crisis by posting warning signs in their parking lots.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that this isn’t the first time that a dog was rescued from a car parked outside a Golden Corral restaurant.

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PETA’s letter to Lance Trenary, president and CEO of Golden Corral, follows.

August 17, 2020

Lance Trenary
President and CEO

Golden Corral

Dear Mr. Trenary,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide after learning that a dog was recently discovered in danger of dying in a hot car while his or her owner dined for more than 20 minutes at a Golden Corral restaurant in Shelby, North Carolina. Please, will you take prompt action to prevent additional potentially lethal mistakes by posting signs in your parking lots advising visitors against leaving any living, feeling beings inside unattended vehicles? Luckily, the individual above was rescued in time, but that is not and will not always be the case.

Since 2019, at least 78 animals have died from heat-related causes. This number includes only those incidents reported in the media—so the actual figure is clearly higher. Already this year, 10 dogs and cats and 15 children have died in hot cars, and summer is far from over. It doesn’t take long for parked vehicles to turn into deadly ovens: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a car can soar to 100 degrees in just a few minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Leaving the windows partially open or parking in the shade won’t keep vehicles cool enough to be safe.

Heatstroke, damage to organs (including the brain), and death can occur extremely quickly, so it’s crucial that neither dogs nor children ever be left in parked cars—even for “just a minute.” Dogs are highly susceptible to heatstroke because they can’t sweat and can cool themselves only through panting. Please watch this short video about these life-threatening dangers. I am sure it will move you.

By posting warning signs in parking lots or on entry doors or stenciling on parking spaces, you can provide customers with a vital reminder that it takes only minutes for a dog or a child to die from heatstroke, while also encouraging passersby to keep a vigilant eye out for individuals left inside unattended vehicles. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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