Dogs’ Deaths Prompt ‘Too Hot for Spot and Tot’ Warning Ads

PETA Campaign Out to Prevent Dogs and Kids From Dying in Hot Cars

For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382


Every year, children and dogs die in hot cars—including three dogs and a child in the Indianapolis area last year—and this summer, 25 dogs and cats and 19 children across the country have died from heat-related causes. So PETA is hitting the area with new ads that urge viewers not to leave kids or dogs in cars when the weather’s hot. The new campaign, available for download here, points out that forgetfulness—being distracted by running into a friend, taking a phone call, or otherwise being delayed, perhaps by COVID-19 measures in stores—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 of a vehicle 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 or 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.) Treat suspected heatstroke in dogs by wrapping a cool, wet towel around the head and neck, and when authorities arrive, ensure that the animal is taken to a veterinarian for care.

The ads are located on IN-37, about 1.1 miles south of I-465 (facing south), and on I-476, north of E. 16th Street, right before exit 44B (also facing south).

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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