PPD "Chatted" with owner of Dog in Hot Vehicle

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 25, 2019 / comments

[PR Pond Img: Stock]

Pet owners should never take a chance with their dog’s health, stresses Holly Barber, manager of the "Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign."  Cracking the windows open even on a mild day doesn’t really help.

On the 24th Kathleen Burnett posted on Facebook, "So @10 this morning there was a car behind liars bench with a dog locked inside. Is it 100+ degrees? Nope. Was it already warm? Yup. If you need to drink at 10am please leave your dog home!! I'm sure PPD told you the same thing when they chatted with you. Thank you for listening and taking the pooch home before going back to drink more.... if you think it isn't hot in there already I hope you get locked in a car behind a bar, windows rolled up with no water... STUPID PERSON!!!!" 

Every year we read about pet owners who leave their dog alone in a vehicle while shopping, dining out, going to the movies or doing other things. This is putting their pet at risk. “People don’t believe it will happen to them or they tell themselves they’ll only be a minute, but it simply isn’t good enough,” Barber said. “We’re pleading with people not to take the risk and to leave their pets at home where they will be safe and happy.”

When the outside temperature is 70 degrees, a car can heat up to 89 degrees in just 10 minutes, and to 104 in 30 minutes. At 80 degrees outside, you’re looking at 99 degrees inside a vehicle in 10 minutes and 114 in 30 minutes. At 95 degrees, it only takes 10 minutes to reach 114 degrees and the temperature soars to 129 degrees in 30 minutes.

Currently, 22 states have laws that either make it illegal to leave a dog unattended in a parked vehicle, or grant private citizens immunity from being held liable for damages resulting from freeing the dog, if it’s obvious the dog is at risk of injury or death.  Before taking matters into your own hands, call 911 and alert authorities to the dog’s situation, then try to find the owner while you wait for help to arrive. Breaking into a hot car to free an animal may be treated as a criminal act, but a few states have Good Samaritan laws that may protect you. 

El Dorado County Animal Services Henry Brzezinski advised “If we receive a complaint and it is warranted, we will remove the animal for its safety and the owner can be charged with an offense. If necessary, the animal will be transported to a veterinary hospital.”

State laws and an El Dorado County Ordinance prohibit pet owners from leaving pets in an unattended vehicle without adequate ventilation or in such a manner as to subject the animal to extreme temperatures that adversely affect the animal's health and welfare.  Yet too often there are cases across the country of dogs dying of heat stroke because they were left in a vehicle during a hot summer day.  The owner could face fines up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail, including possible felony charges if the pet is severely harmed or dies.

Pet owners are advised to not leave pets in a parked car, even for a short period of time.  “Parking in the shade is also not recommended because the sun can move and directly expose the vehicle,” said Brzezinski.  “It is best to keep pets home on hot days if there is a chance the pets could be left alone in the vehicle.”

California law allows Animal Services officers to take swift action to help an animal that may be in danger, including those left inside vehicles on a hot day.

"Anyone who sees an animal in distress in a hot car should write down the vehicle license plate number and State of the plate, the make, model and color of the vehicle, and the type of animal, and call us immediately" said Henry Brzezinski.

If you see an animal in distress call Animal Services immediately at (530) 621-5795 on the West Slope or (530) 573-7925 in South Lake Tahoe so that officers can respond and assess the situation.”

For additional information about Animal Services visit www.edcgov.us/animalservices.  


Here are some tips to help you make sure your dog enjoys the summer as much as you do.

On The Go With Fido

  • Make sure your dog has access to plenty of cool, fresh water 24 hours a day. There are many inexpensive and collapsible bowls (usually plastic or fabric) that you can take with you anywhere and refill at water fountains. If you are going to be out for a long period of time, freeze a bottle of water or bring ice cubes in a Tupperware container so that you will have cold water when you reach your destination.
  • Be aware that asphalt and sand can quickly get hot enough to burn the pads of dogs’ paws, and that your dog’s entire body is much closer to the ground than yours. In hot weather, walk your dog on the grass or dirt where it is cooler.
  • Never leave your dog in a vehicle. When it’s only 80 degrees outside, a car can heat up to over 120 degrees in just minutes and leaving a window cracked does little to prevent heat build-up. Many vets say that this is the most common cause of heat exhaustion.
  • Tying a dog outside a store while you run an errand in never a good idea, but is especially dangerous in the summer since he may be exposed to direct sunlight. If you can’t bring your dog inside the store, it’s best to leave him home.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when heat and humidity are less intense. Remember that if your dog is spending most of her time in air conditioning, the intense weather outdoors will be even harder for her to acclimate to.
  • Many dogs like swimming, but some cannot swim (Bulldogs, for instance, are too large-boned) or may not like the water. Be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before putting him in the water. Always supervise your pet while swimming. Dogs can become easily disoriented in swimming pools and may not be able to find the stairs.
  • Chlorine from pools and bacteria from streams, lakes, and ponds can be toxic for a dog’s system. Always rinse your dog with clean water after swimming and never let her drink water from these sources.

Know The Signs Of Heat Exhaustion

  • There are many factors that can make a dog more susceptible to heat exhaustion; physical condition, age, coat type, breed, and the climate it is most acclimated to. Very young and very old dogs are at the most risk. Brachycephalic dogs (those with short muzzles), such as Pugs and Bulldogs, are also at greater risk.
  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion or stroke can include excessive panting, disorientation, and obvious paleness or graying to the gums due to a lack of oxygen. A dog’s natural 102-degree body temperature should never exceed 105 degrees.
  • If you feel your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, act immediately by submerging her in cool water (not ice cold) or by placing ice packs on her neck. Once the dog has been stabilized get her to a vet.

Keeping Cool

  • If you keep your dogs outside, it’s critical that they have access to shade, and remember that dark-colored dogs absorb more heat than dogs with lighter coats. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer, as they can trap heat.
  • There are various products that can help keep pets cool, such as fans that clip onto crates and mats with cooling crystals that stay up to 20 degrees below room temperate. These can be used as crate liners or as beds. Collars, vests and other items are also available. For an immediate and inexpensive option, try placing your dog on a wet towel on a concrete or tile floor in front of a fan or air conditioner.
  • Dogs do not sweat and their only means of reducing body heat is by panting. Although it seems incongruous, trimming your dog’s coat will not make him significantly cooler, and you should never shave your dog–his coat helps regulate body temperature and protect from sunburn!

Article provided by American Kennel Club (AKC)