Home > Animal Rescue, Health Care - Dogs, Pet Topics > Once again: Dog + Hot Car = Dead… Get It?

Once again: Dog + Hot Car = Dead… Get It?


I know. We dog people say it over and over again…Dogs do not belong in hot cars. Dogs do not belong in cars on hot days. Dogs do not belong in a car while you go shopping or out to eat, especially on hot days.

Last night my friend Kristin posted this story on Facebook:

What is wrong with people? I was walking Woodstock (a dog Kristin is caring for) earlier and saw two dogs inside a car in the direct sunlight. The driver’s side window was cracked open about 2 inches, and that was it. After I walked Woodstock back home, I got in the car and drove past. They were still there, panting away. It was just down the block from (name omitted) and Cafe Ena, so I knew the owners were most likely enjoying a nice, leisurely meal while their dogs were getting possible heat exhaustion. I talked to a server at (name omitted), who was kind enough to ask at the tables who owned a white Prius. When she told me that the family told her “oh, we have the window cracked,” I asked if I could talk to them. She wasn’t comfortable having me confront her customers, so I said loudly “Well, could you tell them that I’m going to call 311?” Suddenly a young woman sprang up and came to me, saying “I’m the owner and they have a window open.” I explained that they could die inside, because they were in the sun and the window was hardly opened and cars heat up FAST (up to 150 degrees within minutes). She said “We’re volunteers and we got our dogs from a rescue in Israel.” and I said “I’m sure you love them a lot, but this is still a dangerous situation.” She got in the car, opened all of the windows, and I left. I still wasn’t satisfied, but the sun was starting to go down and I’m hopeful that they learned something.

Yes. Volunteers caring for dogs rescued from Israel. I hate to think that a dog who had been rescued and brought here all the way from Israel would end up dying in a hot car because someone thought cracking one window would be sufficient for them. How sad.

Two years ago, I had my own sort of intervention with an owner who left her elderly Beagle in her car in the hot sun while she and her daughter went grocery shopping ay Byerly’s. Luckily, the dog was fine, but I was prepared to call police if she had stayed inside much longer.

That incident, and a few stories that appeared in the news around the same time, prompted me to consult a couple of awesome veterinarians before writing this piece – DOG + HOT CAR = DEAD… Get It?

At the time, I thought adding a little bit of shock value would be just the reality check some people needed to better understand the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car. Maybe it’s time to pass it around again.

I hope you will read it and pass it on.

A side note to my friend Kristin:  Kudos Kristin. As always, I am impressed with your tenacity. I am not surprised that you would go out of your way to help an animal in need or distress. You have always been an animal’s best advocate. I think that’s why so many of them have sought you out over the years. They know you care about them. You are my hero.

  1. toshea
    June 3, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Very Good Article Mel,
    I am planning on posting your aricle on my blog too, if that is ok with you.
    I will also post it on Twitter, facebook and linkedin and various smaller dog sites.
    We see this kind of thing too here in NY and we do our best to save the dogs, but there arw alot of stupid people out there.
    I hope you womt mind me posting this story on my blog.
    Alexander

    • Mel
      June 3, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      Oh Wow! Thanks Alexander! I definitely do not mind at all. I hate having to approach people to discuss this issue, but will when I need to do so. I will do anything to help people understand the dangers. Thank you for spreading the word. I hope it helps at least one dog along the way. You are awesome!

      BTW – I’ve been to your site before, but never saw the blog. Do you have a link? I would love to read yours as well!

      • June 4, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        Hi Mel,’
        Just as you do, I like to keep informed of important Pet issues and I like to let my friends know too and they help spread the word…:-)
        My Blog is
        http://to-shea.blogspot.com/
        You can also get the links from our website too.
        thanks for letting me repost your article..:-)
        Alex

      • Mel
        June 4, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        Thanks Alex. I am now subscribing to your blog!

  2. Jen
    June 3, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Thanks for the reminder!

    A few weeks back, I was going to take Elka with me when I ran some errands. I got into the car, though, and it was SO HOT(even though the day was mild) I thought “Nope.” and put her back inside the house.

    • Mel
      June 3, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      What a wise woman Jen! I have done the same before. I just won’t risk my dog’s life on hot days.

  3. June 4, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    People just don’t get it. They not only leave dogs in a car, they leave children in the car.

    • Mel
      June 4, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      Very true Lynda. It’s not safe. No matter what.

  4. June 4, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    People just don’t think. It’s a tragedy every single time. It happens with dogs and it happens with children and every story is heartbreakingly awful. I am terrified of putting my dog in danger. Even if I have to grab some milk on the way back from the dog park, I will make two trips as opposed to one. Even five minutes can be too long.

    I have read many stories from those who have lost their pets and young children in this way. Just thinking about it is completely devastating. A little while ago I also watched a video put together about a man who’s dog had died from being left in a car. I hesitate to link it here though because it’s pretty powerful. Maybe I’ll share it on my own site.

    • Mel
      June 4, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      Please share it if you can Kristine. I would love to see it.

  5. Petunia and Fletch's Mom
    June 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I did something similar a couple of years back in KCMO. The young coupe thought leaving a blac k dog in a blue car with black interior and one window cracked was OK in the blinding heat while they enjoyed lunch in an air conditioned cafe. I just went right in, I didn’t even ask a waiter to find out who’s car it was, the place wasn’t busy enough.

    • Mel
      June 4, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      Wow. Good for you! I believe you and Kristin would hit it off. I have never been brave enough to march into a restaurant, but I have had a store call the owner over the intercom before.

  6. June 4, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Yes, have had some experience with that kind of behaviour locally too. One of Georgia’s friends died that way, though the case was deemed an accident. The owners [who strangely enough work for wildlife conservation] were distraught and to this day, haven’t got another dog. It can happen to anyone in a split second. Those blase volunteers should not be allowed to do any more good work until they’re educated.

    Your friend Kristin is wonderful.

    • Mel
      June 4, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Oh how sad Miss Little Pea! I imagine they are too haunted by their decision to get another one. How sad. You are right. It can happen so fast. That’s what so many people don’t realize. I was so disappointed to hear they were volunteers. I would hope they would know the dangers. Why not just take the dogs home before dinner?

      Yes. Kristin is amazing and wonderful. I’m not kidding when I say animals seek her out. She has rescued more animals than I can count and she volunteers at animal control and with the Wildlife Center at the University of MN where she helps care for the wild animal babies that are injured or fall from trees. I don’t know how she does it.

  7. June 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Education, education, education. That is key. People are really clueless and I commend your friend from going the extra mile. When I park my car in the heat of the day and crack the windows and go into a store, I KNOW the car is hot when I come back, why wouldn’t someone think the same would hold true leaving their dog in a car?

    • Mel
      June 5, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      Exactly Jodi!

  8. August 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM


    check out this lady confronted by leaving her dog in the car

    • Mel
      August 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM

      Amazing that she didn’t even think it was bad to leave her dog in a car in 93 degree heat. Ugh!

  1. June 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM
  2. June 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

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