Dogs’ Hot-Car Deaths Prompt PETA TV Plea Featuring Elisabetta Canalis

For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

After four dogs reportedly died when they were left inside a hot car in New Smyrna Beach while their owner had lunch, PETA plans to hit local TV airwaves with an emergency message from actor Elisabetta Canalis reminding people of the deadly consequences of leaving animals in vehicles unattended. Even on a 75-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 94 degrees in just 10 minutes, and on a 90-degree day, it can get up to 109 degrees in just minutes. As the temperature climbs, dogs endure agonizing symptoms: They go into shock, vomit blood, urinate, and have diarrhea and can experience multi-organ failure, cardiopulmonary arrest, fluid buildup in the lungs, muscle tremors, seizures, unconsciousness, and finally, death.

PETA urges everyone to be on the lookout for dogs who are in need of assistance in extreme temperatures, including those who may be experiencing heatstroke symptoms, and advises people to do the following:

  • Touch the pavement before walks to ensure that it won’t burn dogs’ foot pads.
  • Be alert to a long, curled-up tongue and heavy panting, as dogs can’t sweat as humans can and heat builds up inside their bodies.
  • Walk only in the shade or on earth or grass, and never leave animals outdoors in extreme heat or, as Canalis pleads, inside vehicles.

“Four dogs were cooked alive inside a hot car, and countless others are at risk of suffering similar fates during summer’s scorching temperatures,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is asking people to keep animals indoors where it’s cool and to do whatever it takes to save the life of a dog in distress.”

Last summer, PETA fieldworkers discovered the body of a dog who had died after being left chained up in the hot sun, and there have been similar reports nationwide. A law-enforcement officer mistakenly left a dog inside his patrol car, and the K-9 succumbed to heat prostration and died. In 2021, 59 dogs reportedly died from heat-related causes. (The actual figure is likely far higher, as most heat-related companion animal deaths go unreported.)

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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