Alarming Number of Dog and Child Deaths Leads to 'Too Hot for Spot and Tot!' Campaign to Save Lives
For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2019
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – As temperatures soar across the country and just in time for National Heatstroke Prevention Day (July 31), PETA’s new ad campaign reminding people never to leave dogs or children in hot cars will be running in cities across the country in response to the epidemic of casualties. The new “Too Hot for Spot and Tot!” campaign is available for download here and will run in Orlando, Florida, where one child and two dogs have died; Columbia, South Carolina, where one child and one dog have died; and Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, where three children and three dogs have died so far this year. PETA points out that forgetfulness—being distracted by running into a friend, taking a phone call, or otherwise being delayed—is often the cause of such fatalities.
Across the U.S., 23 children and at least 21 dogs have died already this summer after being left in hot parked cars. On a 78-degree day, when someone might think there’s no risk, there actually is: The temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 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. Dogs—who can sweat only through their paw pads and cool themselves mainly by panting—can rapidly succumb to heatstroke, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to 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 the trapped occupant. (PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in these life-or-death situations.) With dogs, treat suspected heatstroke by wrapping a cool, wet towel around the animal’s head and neck, and when authorities arrive, ensure that the animal is taken to a veterinarian for care.
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 PETA.org.