It Takes Only Minutes: Please Don’t Leave Pets in Hot Cars!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 9:45am

Each year, thousands of beloved companions succumb to heatstroke and suffocation when left in parked cars. It happens most often when people make quick stops—the dry cleaners, the bank or the local deli. Folks, we need to be clear on this: It takes only minutes for your pet to face death—and it doesn’t have to be that hot out. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees. Even with the windows cracked. 

You can help save pets from dying in hot cars. Simply take the following actions: 

  • Educate people. Hang this printable flyer [PDF] up in your local grocery store, veterinary hospital, animal shelter and other local businesses.

  • If you see something, say something. If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. Local law officials have the ability to enter vehicle and rescue the pet. Do not leave until help has arrived.

  • Try to find the car’s owner. If you are out and you see a dog locked in a car, tell the nearby store manager immediately. Don't be shy.

  •  And please, no matter how much your dog loves to go along when you run errands, don't take a chance. Leave her home where she is safe. 

For more information, visit our Summer Safety Tips!

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You got to have some common sense if you encounter this situation. As one of the others said, she was in the car as well and no one died. Same happened to my wife when we were in Redding CA with 105 weather. I went into the bank leaving my wife and Terrer Mix Bandit in the car. Some Samaritan started to open the car to get the dog!
On the other hand, pets and children DO suffer sometimes in these situations, up to and including death. I have several times confronted this and remained with the car until the owner returned in case I DID have to intervene. Of course, I was the one lectured about "minding my own business".

Karen Fillinger

I would call the cops then break the window!


break the window then call 911!


break the window then call 911!


Call 911, have them paged, all of the above. But stand by the car with a tire iron. The cops will come faster, and so will the owner, but you will not have broken any laws.


I would call 991, with tag #, take a pic of the car with the dog(s), tag #, send to local tv station stating location of car. Go in store, have owner page with msg stating police & local tv crew on their way. Go back to car, have water waiting for the poor little animals. This type of person does not deserve an animal!!

kenda wade

I'd bust the windshield, that way the owner may have to walk home in the heat.


I would report it immediately and make sure that they let the pet out!!!!!!!!!!! Should not be!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRR

kay stice

I have gone into the store and had security call the police. People you think you are doing them a favor by letting them go with you. If you think it doesn't get hot put a thermometer in you car and check after a few minutes.


In Lewisburg, TN the only animal shelter is a small 20 dog capacity building. Last week they had 28 dogs on the premises. They were contacted about the adoption of 9 of these dogs. The were claimed for adoption. Unfortunately, the shelter, (knowing that the dogs were to be adopted within a matter of hours) decided to euthanize 13 dogs. All the 9 dogs claimed for adoption were killed. After receiving a small amount of media attention this shelter has vowed to euthanize all dogs every three days.

Please sign this petition to demand investigation into this matter.

Thank you for your time.