Six Flags Dog Deaths Prompt PETA to Seek Warning Signs

For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2021

Contact:
Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382

Valencia, Calif. – In response to news that two dogs recently died in a Six Flags Magic Mountain parking lot after they were left inside a hot car, PETA sent a letter today to Bonnie Sherman Weber, senior vice president of park operations, asking that she require all Six Flags locations to install signs warning guests of the dangers of hot vehicles. Don McCoy, park president of Six Flags Magic Mountain, was copied on it.

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that multiple dogs have been rescued from hot cars in Six Flags parking lots in recent years. Since last year, there have been at least 51 hot weather–related companion animal deaths.

“As the Valencia community just saw firsthand, a parked car can be a death trap for dogs, who can’t escape as temperatures soar and their bodies shut down,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging Six Flags to help prevent future tragedies by reminding customers never to leave vulnerable family members in the car.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Weber follows.

July 13, 2021

Bonnie Sherman Weber

Senior Vice President

Park Operations

Six Flags

Dear Ms. Sherman Weber:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide. We’re so pleased that the Six Flags website states that patrons can’t leave animal companions in cars for any length of time while visiting the park—thank you for that. There is one vital next step that we hope you’ll take right away, as two dogs recently died inside a hot car parked outside Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Will you please require that all Six Flags parks post lifesaving signage?

Since last year, there have been at least 51 hot weather–related companion animal deaths. This number includes only incidents reported in the media, so the actual figure is much higher. It doesn’t take long for parked vehicles to turn into deadly ovens—on a 70-degree day, the temperature inside one can soar to 99 degrees in 20 minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in just 10 minutes. Heatstroke, damage to organs (including the brain), and death can occur within minutes for animals, so it’s crucial to ensure that they’re never left in parked cars.

The two dogs who died in Valencia aren’t the first to have been left in a hot car in a Six Flags parking lot—in 2018, a dog was rescued from a hot car at Six Flags White Water in Marietta, Georgia, and in 2011, a dog was rescued from a hot car at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. It’s imperative that action be taken immediately to protect animals and prevent future tragedies.

May we please hear that Six Flags will protect companion animals by posting warning signs in the park reminding guests not to leave dogs in hot cars? To make it easy, we’d be happy to send over as many copies of our “Too Hot for Spot” PSA as you’d like, or we could work on a custom design in partnership with you. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk

President

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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