For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2021
Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382
Kansas City – Tomorrow, PETA will partner with child-safety nonprofit group KidsAndCars.org for a social media blitz: Every post on PETA’s Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram accounts (with more than 8 million followers in total!) will warn of the dangers of leaving kids and dogs in hot cars—and empower people to take action if they spot an individual trapped in a vehicle.
We’re asking our supporters to participate by sharing our posts with the hashtag #HotCarsKill. Our new infographics—which you can preview here— and social media posts touch on the following points:
- Since 1990, nearly 1,000 children have died in hot cars, including 25 in 2020. Since last year, at least 34 companion animals have died from heat-related causes. (Those are just the cases that were reported—most aren’t.)
- Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside the car.
- Everyone should contact their U.S. House representatives and express support for the Hot Cars Act 2021, which would require automakers to install technology in vehicles to detect the presence of a child or an animal and alert drivers when someone is in the backseat.
- Anyone who sees an animal in a parked car should take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. If the car is in a store’s parking lot, the owner should be paged over the store’s intercom—if they don’t respond quickly, local humane authorities or police should be contacted.
- If the authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the animal appears to be in imminent danger, the person who identified the situation should find a witness who will back up their assessment and then do what is necessary to remove the suffering animal from the car and wait for authorities to arrive. (PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in life-or-death situations.)
“Temperatures inside a parked car soar to dangerous heights in just minutes, so even a ‘quick errand’ can turn deadly for a dog or a child locked inside,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “With the hottest days of summer on the way, PETA is ready with all the tips people need to step in and prevent these heartbreaking tragedies.”
“We truly value our partnership with PETA because no one should ever lose a loved one in a hot car. This new campaign is vital and much appreciated because we all need to work together to ensure children or pets are never be left alone in a vehicle,” stated Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org. “With this new campaign, #HotCarsKill, more people will be made aware of these dangers and learn how to get involved to save lives,” she continued.
More information about the dangers of hot cars is available here. As temperatures soar, it’s important that we continue to keep children and animals safe in cars.