Former Cowboys Coach Receives PETA Award For Saving Puppy In Hot Car

Barry Switzer Scores Big With Animal Lovers After Intervening in Potentially Deadly Situation and Finding Young Dog a Loving Home

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2013

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Oklahoma City — Former Dallas Cowboys and University of Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer has received a Compassionate Action Award and a batch of delicious vegan cookies from PETA. On August 7, Switzer spotted a puppy locked inside a parked van on a hot day. He patiently waited for the van’s owners to return, made arrangements to take guardianship of the dog, and took her to a veterinarian. Switzer, who has several dogs of his own, asked that she be completely checked over and given shots—he even had her nails clipped. Although Switzer took the pup—whom he named Stella—home with him, he couldn’t keep her. But he was intent on finding her the best home possible, and fortune struck when he located a responsible couple. Stella’s arrival was extra-special because it marked the couple’s wedding anniversary.

“Barry Switzer is a true winner, taking the Sooners to three national championships, walking away with the trophy for Super Bowl XXX, and knowing never to leave an animal in a hot car,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Stella has found a loving home, and it all started with a very tough coach who makes no bones about having a soft spot for animals.”

Because dogs perspire only through their paw pads, all they can do is pant if they become overheated. But panting is insufficient when temperatures quickly rise into the triple digits. It’s imperative that anyone who spots a dog locked in a car on a hot day never leave the scene until the situation is resolved. PETA’s tips for helping dogs locked in hot cars can save animals’ lives.

Every summer, PETA learns of dozens of dogs who suffer from heatstroke or die in hot cars. During hot weather, even dogs who are left in a car in the shade can quickly succumb to heatstroke and sustain brain damage as a result. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, interior temperatures can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

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