Urgent From PETA: Cruel—and Criminal—to Leave Dogs in Hot Cars

For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2019

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Pittsburgh – Following recent reports that three dogs were left in a hot car in Neshannock Township and two others were left in a hot car outside an AMC movie theater in Hempfield, PETA is issuing an urgent warning about the importance of never leaving animals in hot vehicles. Since last year, there have been at least 79 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.

Law-enforcement officials across the country are also warning people of the dangers of hot weather. “Every year, we alert people to the danger of leaving children or pets inside cars in the summer,” says Chief of Police James R. Kruger Jr. from Oak Brook, Illinois. “The temperature inside a vehicle climbs approximately 43 degrees in just an hour. The loss of a defenseless animal in this manner is avoidable and should never happen. There is no reason to take your pet out in extreme heat without adequate air conditioning and water.”

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 with intervening in these life-or-death situations.

PETA has released a hot-car public service announcement featuring Mckenna Grace. For more information, 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