Let's Prevent Repeat of Dog Walker's Close Call at Stonestown Galleria, Says PETA
For Immediate Release:
June 17, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
San Francisco – Hot on the heels of the recent incident at the Stonestown Galleria shopping center in which a dog walker left her eight charges locked in her hot van for nearly two hours, PETA sent a letter today to the mall’s general manager, Cynthia Eichler, asking her to stencil PETA’s “Too Hot for Spot” public service advisory—which urges drivers to leave dogs at home during hot weather—on parking spaces in the mall’s lot in order to prevent deaths and other near misses that can still leave dogs with brain damage.
In its letter, PETA points out that every summer, there are reports of dogs who have experienced agonizing deaths from heatstroke after being left unattended in hot cars. Shoppers often “pop in” to the mall and then run into a friend or are distracted and end up forgetting that dogs—and sometimes children—have been left vulnerable in the heat. What’s more, on a relatively mild 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes—even with the windows slightly open—and dogs, unlike humans, cannot perspire through their skin.
“Distracted drivers locking their dogs in the car is an all too common occurrence—and even running into the store for ‘just a minute’ can lead to tragedy,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “By placing PETA’s stenciled advisory in the parking lot, the Stonestown Galleria can help shoppers avoid making a tragic mistake.”
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to the Stonestown Galleria follows.
June 17, 2014
Dear Ms. Eichler:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters—including thousands in the Bay Area—to implore you to take an important step that could save many lives. Would you please place our “Too Hot for Spot” public service advisory in Stonestown Galleria’s parking spaces? Friday’s incident, in which a Stonestown Galleria shopper left eight dogs in a vehicle for nearly two hours, highlights the need to offer frequent reminders that dogs must never be left unattended in vehicles, particularly in warm weather.
Although, miraculously, the dogs involved in this incident apparently survived, every year PETA receives reports about panicked animals who have suffered and died in agony inside cars during warm weather. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Because dogs can cool themselves only by sweating through their paw pads and panting, they often succumb to heatstroke in just minutes, resulting in brain damage or death.
Despite California Penal Code § 597.7, which expressly prohibits leaving a companion animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the animal, drivers continue to place their animals’ lives at risk by leaving them in cars parked outside a business while they run inside for “just a minute.” By simply placing our stenciled advisory in every third parking space, you can help prevent shoppers from making a tragic, fatal mistake.
We would be pleased to provide you with our eye-catching stencil at no cost. I look forward to working with you. Thank you for your consideration.
Special Projects Coordinator
Cruelty Investigations Department