What Would You Do if You Saw a Dog in a Hot Car? ASPCA Survey Reveals One Third of Adults Did Nothing

August 29, 2014

A few weeks ago, we shared an Urgent Alert about the dangers of leaving dogs in parked cars on hot days. What we didn’t know at the time, though, was just how urgent the situation truly is.

According to a new poll conducted by the ASPCA, an overwhelming majority of adults—93 percent—who have never encountered a dog in a car on a hot day said they would do something to help, but of those adults who actually faced such a situation, only 63 percent took action.

“Taking decisive action when you see a dog left in a hot car is critical during these warm months,” said Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “There is a startling gap between those who state they would act and those who actually did something when faced with the reality of a dog at risk.”

The nationwide telephone survey also revealed the following findings:

  • 51 percent of those who saw or heard a dog in a hot car made attempts to look for the owner, making it the most common action taken
  • 24 percent said they made attempts to rescue the dog themselves and 23 percent called the police
  • Women were much more likely than men to have taken action (75 percent versus 58 percent) after seeing a dog in a hot car

When an animal is in danger of overheating, your actions can literally mean the difference between life and death. We hope that you will make a commitment to act whenever you encounter a dog alone in a hot car—and you can start by taking our pledge today.