Do you know what to do if you see a pet in a hot car? Here are 7 tips

Leaving pets locked in cars when the weather gets warmer can be deadly. If you see a pet in a hot car, this is how you can help.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2023, 8:30 AM

Updated 314 days ago

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Leaving pets locked in cars when the weather gets warmer can be deadly.
High temperatures can cause irreparable organ damage and even death, according to the Humane Society.
It doesn't have to be that warm outside for a car to become dangerously hot inside. According to the Humane Society, when it's 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. When it's 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees within 10 minutes.
If you see a pet in a hot car, this is how you can help:

1. Get info

Take down the car's make, model and license plate number.

2. Notify someone

If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car's owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.

3. Call police

If the owner can't be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. In several states, good Samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area and follow any steps required.

4. Get informed

Learn your town's and state's laws about leaving pets in hot cars. An increasing amount of states prohibit leaving pets in hot cars, and some grant immunity to good Samaritans who must rescue pets in visible distress.

5. Be ready to call for help

Gather essential telephone numbers and have them on hand. You'll want to have your local animal control agency's number and the police department's non-emergency number so you can quickly report the situation. Keep these numbers in your purse, your car's glove compartment or programmed into your phone.

6. Raise awareness

Distribute hot car flyers, which spell out the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars. Ask local store managers, shopping malls, restaurants and other businesses to post signs asking customers not to leave their pets in their cars while shopping or dining.

7. Speak up

If your town or state doesn't have a law prohibiting leaving pets in parked cars, contact your local representatives or attend a town hall meeting to start lobbying for one.


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