For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Victoria, B.C. – Following recent reports that Victoria police officers had to rescue three dogs from hot cars—and that the temperature in one of the cars was reportedly 47°C (116°F), even though it was only 16°C (60°F) outside—PETA is issuing an urgent warning about the importance of never leaving animals in hot vehicles. Last year, at least 31 companion animals died from heat-related causes. (Those are just the ones that were reported—most aren’t.)
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted for cruelty.
The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:
- Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. 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. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in life-or-death situations.
- Keep animals indoors, and leave them at home when it’s hot outside. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
- Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach above 27°C (80°F), asphalt temperatures can climb to over 60°C (140°F), causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. Never run with dogs in hot weather—they’ll collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.