Hot Cars Kill: PETA Seeks Warning Signs in Kroger’s Parking Lots

Signs Would Alert Drivers That Children and Dogs Can Die of Heatstroke Within Minutes

For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382


This year alone, at least 27 dogs and 21 children have died after being left inside sweltering vehicles—and it’s only the middle of summer. That’s why PETA wrote to Kroger this week to urge the Cincinnati-based grocery chain to post signs in parking lots and on store doors and windows to alert shoppers that it takes only a few minutes for children and animals to die of heatstroke inside a parked car.

In its letter to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, PETA notes that on a relatively mild 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar up to 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes. When children are left in a hot vehicle, their body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s, and because dogs can cool themselves only by sweating through their paw pads and panting, they can suffer from heatstroke in just minutes.

“A parked car can be a death trap for children and dogs who can’t escape as temperatures soar and their bodies shut down,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging Kroger to help prevent 2017 from becoming a record year for horrific deaths by heatstroke.”

Some Whole Foods, Walmart, and Loblaw stores have posted signs warning shoppers about the dangers of hot cars, and car companies are joining the effort, too: Tesla introduced a “Cabin Overheat Protection” feature, and General Motors developed a “Rear Seat Reminder.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—urges people who see a child or a dog in a parked car to take down the car’s color, make, model, and license plate number. If the car is in a store’s parking lot, they should have the owner paged over the store’s intercom. Otherwise, they should call local humane authorities or police. They should never leave until the individual is safe—and they should consider doing whatever it takes to get the child or animal to safety.

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