Record Numbers of Child and Dog Deaths Prompt Urgent Message
For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2016
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – This summer, at least 28 children, 45 dogs, and five kittens have died after being left in cars on warm days, and now PETA has released a shocking new video public service announcement (PSA) warning drivers that it takes mere minutes for a child or an animal to die from heatstroke in a vehicle—even in moderate weather, in the shade, or with the window cracked—as the temperature inside can soar rapidly. The PSA features 10-year-old Hollywood actor Mckenna Grace trapped, suffering, and eventually succumbing to heatstroke inside a sweltering car. “If you wouldn’t leave me in a hot car, please don’t leave your dog in a hot car,” says the Independence Day: Resurgence star.
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar up to 120 degrees in minutes, and on a 90-degree day, interior temperatures can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, his or her body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s, and because dogs cool themselves only by panting, they can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes and can sustain brain damage or die as a result.
If you see a child or dog in danger, take down the vehicle’s description and ask the manager in the nearest building to page the owner of the car. If the owner can’t be located, call the police and wait by the car until help arrives. Never leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.
Since 1998, there have been nearly 700 documented cases of children dying in hot cars. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”— receives countless reports each year about panicked animals who have died inside vehicles during warm weather, and following record high temperatures this summer, it estimates that the number of dog deaths is higher than what has been reported.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.