For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Springfield, Mo. – A dog left inside a hot car in Springfield was rescued by police recently, and similar reports nationwide are rolling in at an out-of-control rate. For some dogs, including a K-9 who recently died after being left behind in a patrol car, help comes too late. Already this year, 22 dogs have been reported dead from heat-related causes. (Figures are far likely higher, as most heat-related companion animal deaths go unreported.)
This week’s high temperatures put dogs at a high risk of enduring heat prostration and dying, so PETA is issuing an urgent warning to anyone with a dog: Never leave them inside vehicles, and please be sure 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 cannot sweat as humans can and heat builds up inside their bodies.
- Walk only in the shade or on earth or grass, and neverleave animals alone (On Memorial Day weekend, PETA fieldworkers discovered the body of a dog who had died after being left chained up in the hot sun.)
PETA thanks Springfield police and other rescuers for taking action and urges everyone to support the Hot Cars Act of 2021, which would require automakers to install technology in vehicles to detect the presence of an animal or a child and alert drivers when someone is in the backseat.
Anyone who leaves animals in hot cars or outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted for cruelty.