Will Busch Gardens Post Hot Car Warning Signs in Its Parking Lots?

PETA Launches Appeal After Dog Is Rescued From Parked Car at Amusement Park

For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Williamsburg, Va.

A dog was reportedly rescued from a locked car in a Busch Gardens parking lot this week, prompting PETA to fire off a letter today urging the amusement park giant to post signs in parking lots warning visitors of the dangers of leaving children and animals inside hot vehicles.

In the letter to Park President Kevin Lembke, PETA notes that already this year, at least 33 children, 41 dogs, and one kitten have died because of hot weather, including many who were left in vehicles that became so hot that their bodies shut down. This can happen quickly, as the temperature inside a vehicle can easily surpass that outside by 20 to 30 degrees in just a matter of minutes. Dogs trapped in hot cars suffer horribly: As their internal temperatures rise, they often salivate heavily, lose control of their bladder and bowels, panic, and struggle to escape by clawing the windows and seats so violently that their paws become bloodied, before they go into shock.

“A parked car can be a death trap for children and dogs who can’t escape as temperatures soar and their bodies shut down,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Busch Gardens to do its part to help prevent anyone from enduring a horrific heatstroke death on its premises.”

Whole Foods and Loblaw Company stores have posted signs warning shoppers about the dangers of hot cars, as have some of the largest mall-ownership groups in the nation, including Simon Property Group, GGP, and Macerich. Car companies are joining the effort, too: Tesla introduced a “Cabin Overheat Protection” feature, and General Motors has developed a “Rear Seat Reminder.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—urges people who see a child or an animal in a parked vehicle to take down its color, make, model, and license plate number. If the car is in a store’s parking lot, they should have the owner paged over the store’s intercom. Otherwise, they should call local humane authorities or police. They shouldn’t leave until the individual is safe—and they should consider doing whatever it takes to get the child or animal to safety.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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