For Immediate Release:
July 5, 2019
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Columbia, S.C. – Following recent reports that a dog died after being left in a hot car in Columbia, PETA is issuing an urgent warning about the importance of never leaving animals in hot vehicles. Since last year, there have been at least 78 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
On a 70-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car 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. Dogs, who don’t sweat and can cool themselves only by panting, can rapidly succumb to heatstroke, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside.
Anyone who leaves an animal to bake to death in a vehicle could face felony cruelty charges.
If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, call local humane authorities or the police. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved. If the authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment. Then remove the suffering animal from the car and wait for authorities to arrive. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help intervening in these life-or-death situations.