Every year, I read the same thing over and over again in the news. People leaving pets (and children) in hot cars. It honestly boggles my mind that people need to be reminded or that I actually need to write this, but here we are.
In case you were unaware, pets can die if left in hot vehicles. They do not sweat and can not expel heat like humans can. They wear a fur coat 24/7. Try walking around in a fur coat in the summer heat and see how well you fair.
I hear countless of excuses and stories such as “well, I was only gone for a minute” and “he/she doesn’t like being left at home and likes to run errands with me”. I don’t care about the excuses, there is not one good enough to leave a pet in a hot car. EVER.
Your pet does not need to run errands with you. Leave them at home. Do they have separation anxiety? Leaving them in a hot car will not make it better and maybe you should actually address the operation anxiety and find a solution for it at home.
A minute can turn into five minutes. It can turn into twenty minutes. I can’t tell you the number of times I would think of running in and out of a store and then had to stand in line and wait for a good 10 minutes because it’s busy, they are understaffed and only have one till open. It happens. You can never guarantee how long you will be away from your car. Leave your pet at home, they will be happier and safer there.
Are you travelling with your pets and need to stop for things like food? Plan ahead, it’s not that hard. We travel with our pets all the time back to BC and Saskatchewan and have at least 8 hours in the car for either trip in the summer. Do you know what we do? We pack food and water (plus, having your own food on the road is cheaper and you will get to your destination faster). If we do stop, one person goes inside and the other takes the dogs out for a nature break. Then, when the other person gets back, the other person goes in and the other one will hang out with the dogs. It’s easy.
The photo below shows how dangerous it can become for your pet in a hot car:
Leave your pets at home. If you don’t, you risk your animal dying and you being charged (and definitely confronted by someone who called the authorities on you).
If you see a pet in distress, as tempting as it to smash the window (or someone’s face), don’t. You will most likely get charged and in some cases, bit by the animal. Try to contact the owner by having them paged if they parked outside a business. If you can not track down the owner (and especially if they refuse to do anything about the animal in the hot car and/or if the pet is in distress), call 911 and wait until help arrives. Some states will allow you to rescue an in distress animal, but not all areas have these laws. In Canada, you will be charged for breaking a window.
At the end of the day, please use some common sense. Leave your pets at home.