Push to Keep Kids and Dogs Out of Hot Cars Hits Portland

After Woman Saves Overheating Dog, PETA Offers to Send Signs Warning Drivers That Parked Cars Are Death Traps

For Immediate Release:
July 3, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Portland, Ore. – This morning, PETA sent a letter to the Portland Bureau of Transportation offering to ship the department potentially lifesaving parking meter decals proclaiming, “Warning: Children and Dogs Die in Hot Cars,” which would remind drivers that it only takes a few minutes for a child or an animal to die of heatstroke. The offer comes in response to reports that a woman broke into a car in Portland on June 23 to rescue a dog who was inside with only the moon roof cracked during 89-degree weather. The rescue occurred one day after Oregon passed a bill allowing people to break into hot cars to save an unattended child or animal in danger.

“PETA’s crucial warning signs remind drivers that running inside a store for even a minute could be all it takes for a deadly tragedy to occur,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging Portland to accept our offer and post these signs on parking meters around the city, as that could mean the difference between life and death for any human or dog who has been left unattended in a vehicle.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that when outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes. At least 22 dogs have already died so far this year in hot cars—including two in Oregon. Since 1998, there have been more than 700 documented cases of children dying in hot cars. Children’s bodies warm up three to five times faster than adults’ bodies do, and dogs can cool themselves only by sweating through their paw pads and panting, so these vulnerable members of our families often succumb to heatstroke in just minutes, resulting in brain damage or death.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind