For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2018
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Hinds County, Miss. – Following recent reports that a dog died after being left in a hot vehicle in Hinds County, please mention the risks to animals—who can quickly succumb to heatstroke if left inside cars or outdoors—in any coverage of the hot weather. Already this year, there have been at least 39 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:
- Keep animals indoors. 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.
- 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. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help intervening in life-or-death situations.
- Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, 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.
Anyone who leaves a child or an animal to bake to death in a vehicle could face felony charges.