For Immediate Release:
June 11, 2019
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Houston – Following recent reports that a child was abandoned in extreme heat in Harris County—and with high temperatures forecast for the rest of the summer––PETA is issuing an urgent warning: Vulnerable individuals are at risk and should never be left outside or in a vehicle on a hot day. Animals, children, and elderly people are the most susceptible to the heat, and one mistake can cost someone’s life.
Since last year, there have been at least 64 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t. PETA suggests doing the following in order to safeguard humans and animals:
- Never leave anyone inside a hot vehicle. When temperatures outside reach 75 to 95 degrees, temperatures inside a car parked in direct sunlight can soar to 130 to 170 degrees. 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.
- Keep vulnerable individuals 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.
- To treat suspected heatstroke, wrap a cool, wet towel around the head and neck without covering the eyes, nose, or mouth, and wring out, resoak, and reapply it every few minutes. Pour lukewarm water over the animal’s body, and wipe excess water away, especially from the abdomen and between the hind legs. When authorities arrive, ensure that the animal is taken to a veterinarian for further care.
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.”
Anyone who leaves a child or an animal to bake to death in a vehicle or outside could face felony charges.