‘Too Hot for Spot and Tot’: Urgent Alert to Launch Locally

For Immediate Release:
June 14, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Salt Lake City

Following reports that officers with Salt Lake County Animal Services have already responded to 120 calls regarding dogs left in hot cars this year even before summer has really heated up, PETA plans to launch a local sky-high message reminding people that leaving animals or children in vehicles unattended can quickly turn fatal.

Within minutes, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 94 degrees on a 75-degree day or 109 degrees on a 90-degree day. As the temperature climbs, dogs endure agonizing symptoms: They go into shock, vomit blood, urinate and have diarrhea, and can experience multi-organ failure, cardiopulmonary arrest, fluid buildup in the lungs, muscle tremors, seizures, unconsciousness, and, finally, death.

“In just minutes, a parked car’s internal temperature can hit deadly triple digits,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is reminding everyone to keep kids and animals out of hot cars, because no errand is worth risking a loved one’s life.”

Already this year, 10 dogs and four children have died inside hot cars. In 2021, at least 59 animals died from heat-related causes and another 145 animals were reportedly rescued from potentially deadly situations—and since these numbers include only incidents reported in the media, the actual figures are surely far higher.

Anyone who sees a child or a dog in a parked car should take immediate action: Write down the vehicle’s color, make, model, and license plate number, and rush to have nearby businesses page the owner. If they can’t be found, call 911—and if authorities are unresponsive, do what it takes to save a life.

PETA urges everyone to be on the lookout for dogs who are in need of assistance in extreme temperatures, including those who may be experiencing heatstroke symptoms, and advises doing the following:

  • Put palm to 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 can’t sweat as humans can and heat builds up inside their bodies.
  • Walk only in the shade or on earth or grass, and never leave animals outdoors in extreme heat. Last summer, PETA fieldworkers discovered the body of a dog who had died after being left chained up in the hot sun, and there have been similar reports nationwide.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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