Jul 3, 2012

Please Read: Dogs in Hot Cars and Extreme Heat

A few days ago, as Patrick and I exited a restaurant, we heard a dog barking. As we scanned the parking lot, we found a dog inside a car, with the back window cracked open about three inches, and the dog trying to shove its muzzle through that space for some air. I was ready to call the police when a couple of minutes later, the owners, a father and daughter duo, emerged from the fast-food place across the street. Had they taken longer to return, the back window on their Lexus would have been smashed by a brick, allowing the poor dog to get out.

Too many stories have been popping up in the news about dogs being left in their owners' cars. I cannot even fathom why these cruel people would even consider doing that. Every time I hear about or read a story where a dog had to be rescued from yet another car, I can't help but feel angry. As a dog-lover myself, I can't imagine my westie Lola ever in the same position.

Should you ever encounter a dog inside a locked vehicle, I urge you to alert security or the parking attendant. If the dog seems to be in immediate distress, call the police (911) and try to give the dog some water if you can. Here are some signs that an animal is distressed:
  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Collapse or loss of consciousness
  • Seizure
  • Respiratory arrest
If you spot any of the above, please call emergency services! That poor animal could be near death.

Here are some links to articles for further reading:
- Dogs Die in Hot Cars
- My Dog Is Cool…And Doesn’t Belong in a Hot Car!
- Dog dies in hot car at Vaughan Mills mall parking lot
- Dog left outside in heat at Oshawa home was 10 minutes from death, Humane Society says
- Dog found locked in hot car at Sherway Gardens mall
- Firefighters free dog left in truck in hot weather
- Dog left in car in Arden Fair Mall parking lot was rescued from 100 degree heat

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