Dog Hot Car Laws: What Should You Do If You See A Dog Left In A Hot Car?

dog-hot-car.jpg As rational adults who just happen to be dog owners, we all know that you should never leave your dog inside the car on a hot day. Right?

However, people still do it. (Even dog “experts” make mistakes and use poor judgment sometimes too.)

So, from one dog owner to another, please don’t leave your dog in the car on a warm day — even if the windows are rolled down!

Leaving your dog in the car during the summer (even when it doesn’t seem all that hot to you) is similar to putting your dog inside of an oven! Seriously. The temperatures heat up so quickly that your dog becomes completely helpless when trapped inside the car on a hot day.

Believe it or not, leaving the windows partially open is NOT enough. Parking in the shade WON’T keep the car cool enough either.

Dogs feel heat differently than humans do. They sweat differently too. Dogs sweat by panting and by sweating from their paws. However, a dog trapped in a hot car cannot effectively rid its body of enough of the heat by panting and sweating — simply because there’s not enough cool, fresh air to replace the heated, stale air. Therefore, a dog breathing in warm/hot air for too long will suffer heatstroke (…or worse).

In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog’s respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.  Source

 

In a matter of just a few minutes, a dog can be overcome by the heat. It’s no joke. Temperatures in a closed automobile will rise approximately:

  • 19 degrees in 10 minutes
  • 29 degrees in 20 minutes
  • 34 degrees in 30 minutes
  • 43 degrees in an hour

The Animal Protection Institute (API) conducted their own study that showed that deadly temperatures can quickly build inside a closed vehicle, even with moderately warm temperatures outside. The study found that even at 9 a.m. with an outside temperature of 82 degrees, the closed automobile registered 109 degrees inside … The API’s study also measured vehicles with cracked windows. With 4 windows cracked, an 88-degree day outside turned into a 103-degree sauna inside the vehicle at 10 a.m.  Source

Just like kids trapped in a hot vehicle, dogs simply cannot withstand those high temperatures when confined in a small, enclosed space.

 

My Experience With A Dog Hot Car Scenario

While grocery shopping on a summer day when the temperatures were in the high 80’s, a woman pulled into the parking spot next to the one I was leaving.

I noticed she had a full-grown German Shepherd in the back seat. The car windows were up, and the air conditioning was on inside her tiny 4-door vehicle as she pulled into the parking space.

Then, I noticed that she began cracking the windows (barely 1 inch each) and started walking into the store. I immediately stopped her in her tracks and said, “It’s too hot for him inside the car like that!”

She looked embarrassed and said to me, “I know, but I’ve just got to run in and get some spray cleaner real quick.” She glanced around, as if to indicate that she had no other option, then she hurried into the store. I just stared in amazement. I certainly didn’t want to leave the dog alone like that!

My first thought: “Why did you have to bring the dog when it was so unbearably hot outside today, knowing that you were going to be leaving him in a hot car with the windows mostly rolled up?”

I honestly did not know what to do. I hesitated on calling 911 because I feared that:

  • They wouldn’t respond. (I didn’t know the laws regarding dogs left in hot cars in my state. More on that in a minute!)
  • They wouldn’t take me seriously. (They always say don’t make calls to 911 that could jeopardize others from getting the help they deserve. Instead, you’re supposed to call the non-emergency number — which, by the way, I never stored in my cell phone… until now!)
  • They would arrive after the lady had already returned and drove away. (Thus, a wasted call to 911, resulting in a lot of energy and manpower spent responding to a non-event.)

 

I should have offered to stay with her dog — with the windows rolled way down and me there to make sure he didn’t escape. Or, I could have walked him outside on a leash or something. But then there are all the trust issues that arise with someone whom you don’t know being in charge of your dog.

Instead (and I admit I feel terribly guilty that I didn’t immediately choose one of the 2 options mentioned above), I parked my car nearby and watched and waited for the lady to return. My plan was to call 911 if the dog started to show signs of distress or if the dog’s owner took too long to return.

Fortunately, she returned within about 6 minutes with the single item that she had purchased. (Those seemed like the longest 6 minutes of my life. Just imagine how it felt for the dog!) The lady definitely was in a hurry to get back to her car, where she quickly proceeded to roll down the windows and turn on the air conditioning to let the dog breathe in some fresh air.

If nothing else, I hope that I was able to plant a seed in this lady’s mind that it’s not okay to leave your dog trapped in a hot car. Hopefully, she won’t want to be “embarrassed” like that again, so she’ll choose to leave her dog at home instead the next time.

Still, I was left questioning my own actions. And feel terrible to this day that I allowed that dog to be left in a hot vehicle for even 6 minutes.

My situation was very similar to this one:

 

 

It Happens Far More Often Than You Might Realize

Need proof? Just read all of these comments!

The reason I’m writing this post today is to possibly help someone else who might find themselves in the same situation that I was in — as a witness to a dog left in a hot car.

  • You don’t want to make a scene (though the dog’s life is certainly worth it).
  • You don’t want to get the person in serious trouble (just a little trouble… enough that they’ll learn a lesson and never do it again).

 

Still, it’s up to those of us who see these things to look out for dogs when their owners simply don’t take the time to think about what could happen if their dog remains inside a hot car for too long. (In case you’re wondering, irreversible brain damage and kidney failure could occur… even death!)

 

Save a life by speaking up! If you do come across a pet alone in a car on one of those hot summer months please alert the store manager. If the owner does not return promptly, call your local animal shelter or the police ASAP. Let’s protect our furry friends this summer.  Source

 

You may also want to contact PETA for a supply of fliers on the dangers of heatstroke to leave on dog owners’ windshields.

 

Dog Hot Car Laws

dogs-in-hot-carsTo be honest, it’s a little difficult to find out whether it’s technically illegal or not to leave a dog in alone in a vehicle in different states.

For example, there are 5 different sources for animal laws in most states:

  • Federal statutes
  • Regulations from federal agencies
  • State law
  • County law
  • City law

 

Not to mention the fact that the laws in your city could actually conflict with the state laws regarding dogs.  So, which laws should you follow?

The question implicates the issue of preemption:  whether a lower local law is “trumped” by a higher state law.  If the two laws do not conflict, there is not a problem and both laws must be followed.  If, however, the lower law tries to regulate something the higher state law already regulates, then the lower law has been preempted.  State laws usually give great deference or authority to local units to regulate dogs.  But laws that deal with complex and far-reaching issues such as rabies quarantines and dangerous dogs may be exclusively up to the state to regulate.  The local government may be able to help you sort out the conflict in laws.  If following the lower law has led to further problems for you or if you feel following the local law may contradict the state law, consult an attorney.  An argument of preemption may help to invalidate a local law that stretches the municipality’s authority to regulate.  Source

Obviously, I realize that there’s no way that a dog being left in a hot car would ever be viewed as the right thing to do. But still… it would be nice if the dog laws were clearer and more readily available. Not only would this benefit current dog owners (and future ones), it would also aid those who happen to witness a dog being left in a hot vehicle. I think people would be more inclined to speak up if they knew they had the law on their side.

 

dog-in-hot-car.jpg
 

 

 

What About Leaving A Dog In The Car With The Air Conditioning Running?

Many people do this, but tragedy can strike — and it has. For example, in 2003, a police dog in Texas died after the air-conditioning in the patrol car shut down and began blowing hot air. The air system’s compressor kicked off because the engine got too hot. Many cars, including modern models with computerized functions, are prone to the same problem. In August 2004, a North Carolina couple lost two of their beloved dogs, and nearly lost their third dogs, as result of a similar failure. They had left bowls of water and ice in the car, and the air-conditioning on, during their shopping trip of less than 30 minutes. Source

For more great tips, check out My Dog Is Cool — a website devoted to helping people save dogs from dying in hot cars this summer.

Finally, check out this video by veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward as he puts a hot car to the test:

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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  • Araymond

    Thanks for covering this important topic so thoroughly, Lynnette! Sadly, countless dogs die around the country every year after their owners leave them in cars while they shop or run other errands. United Animal Nations, through the My Dog is Cool Campaign, encourages people to call animal control, the police or 911 if they see a dog in distress in a hot car. Laws vary from state to state, but these are the people who are equipped to remove an animal from a crisis situation in a hot car. We definitely don’t encourage people to leave a dog in the car with the air conditioning running. Someone could steal the car and the dog; the battery could die or the air conditioner could stop working! Bottom line, leave Fido at home if you have to make a pit stop. He will be happier and safer there!

    • DogLover

      I love how all the nightmare scenarios come up for leaving the dog in the car with the a/c running.  There are many more things that could go wrong leaving the dog at home for that same trip.  

      I’m not in support of leaving dogs unattended in cars but some of you people need to get a grip and/or a life.  If some loving dog owner runs in a store for 10 minutes and has to come back out to the loneliest of the lonely standing by their car with a stopwatch… that says a lot for the loneliest of the lonely only.

  • Don

    If your car has air conditioning, and the car is cool when you leave it, and you are back in five minutes, then you are not endangering the dog. Because sometimes humans run quick errands when they take the dog to the park, this is entirely reasonable.

    What isn’t reasonable is the hysteria reflected in your article about the woman going to the grocery store. Call 911? Seriously, use some common sense.

    I say this because I and my dog have were recently the victim of this sort of garbage from “well-meaning” strangers. So, the dog stays home. She doesn’t get to do fun things, and I don’t get to spend time with her, all because of people like yourself. You aren’t a dog lover: you’re a jerk and a busybody.

    • Raesv1

      How long were you gone, 10 minutes? I’ve never been able to go to the grocery store or Walmart or where ever, and not had to stand in line for more than 10 minutes just to check out. Your car got 20 degrees hotter, so if it’s already 90 degrees or more, that could have been over 120 degrees. somebody SHOULD have called animal control or the police on you. If you love your dog enough to want to spend time with her and take her to do fun things then you would love her enough not to leave her in a car that even in 10 minutes could reach over a 120 degrees. I think YOU’RE not the real dog lover.

      • Don

        You don’t know how long I was gone. I said five – but you up it to ten. It was pretty clear. So, you up the time, and then your make unfounded suppositions.

        Since you have no idea how hot it was, you have no idea whether the car got 20 degrees hotter. You have no idea whether the car was in the shade. You have no idea of the temperature when I left the car. Yet, not knowing any of the facts, you’re deciding that I’m a dog abuser (that is, someone who should be reported to the police). I have owed lots of dogs. They’ve all lived, and are living, long and healthy lives. None of them have got heat stroke. I have never endangered any of them. But you just can’t stand the idea that ANYONE could actually be trusted to behave as an adult, and be free of harrassment for it.

        The problem here is that you and the author, by all appearances, are self-righteous busybodies. Seriously, she relates how she stayed to watch the dog to see if he/she was in distress. Good for her. The woman was back in 6 minutes. But she feels guilty because she didn’t call the cops? She, like you, had no idea how hot/cool it was in the car.

        Some of us just want to live our lives, exercise our own good judgment, and not be harrassed.

        • Woube

          I too have been a victim of the well intentioned stranger. I timed myself and was inside for literally 9 minutes and upon coming to my car a lady claimed it was over 20 minutes and had called the cops. I waited for the cops while being harassed and petting my beloved dog in the car with the ac running. Thankfully, the cop saw that the woman was a nut job and sent me on my way.

          I support her decision to be worried about the dog, but once she realized that everything was fine and my dog was not in distress, I wish she could have turned off the crazy.

        • Charles

          You clearly didn’t fully read the article or watch the videos. They spoke with experts and clearly said that it didn’t matter how many windows you had cracked open or if you were in the shade or not. It is hotter in a car than it is outside, upwards of 20 degrees as they said, and that 20 degrees is even more when you are a dog covered in Fur. The truth is you don’t know if any kidney damage or brain damage was done to your dog; just because it didn’t drop dead doesn’t mean it was not given irreversable damage.

          Would you leave a newborn baby in a car? …even if for only five minutes? ….I didn’t think so.

          …and why wouldn’t you, because they are affected by differently by heat than a full grown human being, right? hmmmmm, just like a dog is, right?

          …under your reasoning we should stay out of everything for fear that we may be wrong……”I heard gunshots and voices screaming….but I better not call because my neighbors may be watching a movie….” …yeah well what if you ARE right? …better safe than sorry!

          • Don

            What is it with you people? You MUST think that others disagreement is based on their ignorance.

            Let’s go over this slowly. The lady in the car, who was gone six minutes: SHE had an idea of how hot the car was when she left. Not you. Not the busybody author. She knew whether she was going to be gone six minutes or twenty. Not you. Not the busybody author.

            In my case, I have not stated the temperature of the day, to begin, the temperature of my car, to continue, whether the car was in the shade, or whether the windows were cracked, or anything else.

            So, an expert stating that a car left in sunlight can increase in temperature in x minutes is useless unless you know the basic facts.

            Then you criticize my “reasoning.” Let’s go over this slowly: analogy isn’t good analysis. In your case, it’s hyperbole. There were no gunshots. In this case, there was a woman who said she was getting one item in the store. You compare this to hearing gunshots? Are you nuts?

            Let me ask you, in your beneficient wisdom: will you allow me to get a single drip coffee at Starbucks and remain a free man? What if I part at a 7-11 and get a slurpee, when I see that there is no one in the store, and the car is plainly visible through the windows inside? Are you going to claim I’m abusing my dog’s kidneys then? Are you going to put me in jail?

          • Isfeasachme

            Don – I’m with you. All the angst directed at you is from the dog nazis… I suppose I should just take a deep breath and realize that the ridiculous overreaction to this is the unfortunate byproduct of living in a comfortable, affluent society. I just returned home from an event like the one described above where two well-meaning old busy-bodies chastized me for leaving my two schnauzers in a car, in the shade on an 85 degree day for 5 minutes or less with the windows cracked. By the time I returned, the car hadn’t even lost the cool of the air conditioning – even with the windows cracked. These people can site unnamed scientific authorities all day long, but they can’t argue with what I see and experience myself.

            On a related note, air conditioning didn’t become ubiquitous in the US until the 50s and 60s. It’s not like the streets were paved with dead dogs in the summer when the temperatures got up into the hundreds. They quietly dealt with it and survived happily ever after… (much like I wish these busybodies would)

        • Guest

          If you sit in your car with a full winter coat on for the same time you leave your dog in the car without air conditioning, then you can say it is just fine in there.

        • Kim

          If it is over 70 degrees out side! NO ANIMALS are allowed to be left inside of a car weather the car is in the shade and windows are down. Its the law so let ANIMAL CONTROL or the POLICE decide when they arrive.. they test the car for how hot it is and if you cared about your animals you would be happy someone else was looking out for them..its almost impossible to walk in out of any store in 5 minutes..even 7-11.. 

    • Guest

      Leaving your dog in your car while you shop is not spending time with your dog. Neither is it sitting in your car while you navigate traffic. A dog needs interaction not just tag-along. Dogs should be left at home for errands unless you are gonig directly to a park or exercise trip/hike.

      • Dennis Teel

        that’s strictly your opinion however.,not based om much elsemy dog loves to go with me everywhere i go.i haven’t heard yet what people think about dogs being left in cars at night when it’s comfortable outside.but apparently it’s considered unacceptable by many as well

  • guest

    Today I went to the store to get some dog food and when I was exiting, noticed a dog in a car…it was panting. The AC was on but I still wanted to let the owner know, since I saw the dog panting like it was hot…. Apparently the owner didn’t like that because she started yelling at me saying “I left the AC on.. blah blah blah” I just wanted to tell her the dog seemed it was hot, it looked hot…..nothing else. If she really cared, she would’ve either taken the dog in the store since it was a pet store OR just left it at home OOOOR one other person could’ve stayed there with the dog to make sure the temp in the car was ok. 

  • Rhingrinder777

    YYou are joke comparing a dog to a newborn baby. I’m sorry do feed your baby out of a dish placed on the floor? No I don’t think so. Unlike humans dogs are able to self sustain and be left alone with the proper nurishment and survive within the first six months of being born, oh that’s right dogs age 7 times faster than humans. A baby can’t even feed itself for more than 2 years so how is this comparison even sustainable. Bet u believe the world will end in December 2012 too. Ur the type of people who I like to refer to as band wagoners, hear one thing on the news and think your an expert. My dog goes to the beach and the lake with me everyday, and it gets up to 130 degrees in the exposed sunlight in south Texas all Sumer long, never had a problem my dog loves me and trusts me.

    • AlanaE

      FYI Arizona is the hottest state and it gets to 125 here so your argument is invalid

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        wow, just, wow

  • http://www.facebook.com/JoniCoutch.Davis Joni Davis

    just turn off your air in your car and sit there till you can’t take it any more (with the windows rolled up) then x that at least two and see how you feel I did and its not fun. I was just curious but now that i have that should be ones punishment for leavind animal or a child in a car,truck,van exc………..

    • Peek a Boo

      next time, wait for the cops to come. :) Let the woman know [very loudly] that you are more than willing to wait for the cops to come and determine WHO was in the wrong: ask the store manager to pull the video of WHEN you entered the store that you can use as evidence against the woman’s DISORDERLY CONDUCT. Ask any witnesses if they would like to wait for the cops WITH YOU so they can testify to the situation. Know what the law is about disorderly conduct in your area. When someone is a loud Jacka$$ you’re going to have to have a loud voice too. Also blatantly ask the manager if they routinely allow customers to be berated in their store: do you need to leave your purchase and get stuff elsewhere, or will they escort this woman out? Get the woman’s name and license plate/ vehicle description too– intimidation works both ways.

      The chances of them “taking your dogs” are very slim…..always feel free to NOT give in to ANY “authorities” when they want to take your property. Ask if you are being detained, and if they say no, ask if you are free to go. They can’t detain you unless they are going to arrest you on specific charges. Not good PR, especially w/a video feed to back you up. LEAVE THE SCENE and immediately write down your experience or blog it like you did here. Good luck!

      • lauree

        Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier to leave the dog at home or leave it with a trusted friend?!? Seriously, people walking by cars *don’t* know how long the person has been gone, how hot it is inside, whether the dog is anxious or not. All they know is there is danger – and an empathic person seeing an animal or person in danger will go into fight/flight mode. And no, that response is *not* rationale (it’s activated by seeing as stick and thinking it’s a damned snake!), and it is *not* easily regulated.

        Caring about the welfare of others isn’t being a busybody — it’s being a good citizen. Try thinking of a dog as a living being that is more like 2-year old – unable to voice distress, unable to really care for themselves. Try thinking of them as a responsibility, rather than “property”. Try considering the situation from another point of view — not knowing, but fearing for the dog’s life. And maybe you’ll understand why people react the way they do.

        PS: Just because the law allows something doesn’t make it right.

    • Dennis Teel

      you’re an idiot,,read my post..you have a problem with that??

  • Doglover

    Why is it that the guilty dog owners get so defensive and angry when you confront them. I had an episode a few days ago, with a dog left in a car, it wasn’t scorching hot, but it was warm and muggy. (i could instantly feel the heat when I opened my car door that was only sitting for approx. 15 mins.). This dog was barking excessively and panting heavily. I checked to see if any windows were down but they were all shut tight. I waited for the owner/s to come and after 11 minutes ( I set the timer stop watch on my phone)they showed up. I told them about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car, and immediately they got deffensive, “we were only gone for 5 minutes” the dog is fine. I told them that it is still dangerous to leave a dog in a car for any length of time even with the windows rolled down, and that if they really loved their pet they would have left it at home. They flipped me the finger and told me to eff off.
    Hello, I am just trying to save your dogs life here. Why are you getting so offensive. WHat would have happened if that “I only have to run in to get one thing, I’ll be five minutes” turns into 20 or 30 because the line ups were longer than you expected, or you ran into an old friend and chatted for a few more.. Anything can happen. Never be to sure. If you have to leave your dog in the car then maybe you should leave it at home. If you want to spend time with it, take it for a walk, or drive to a park and then walk with it. Leave your errands for another time, after you drop your beloved pet at home.

  • Patricia

    I went into a dealership this morning and joined my husband who was in a service manger’s office, turning in one of our vehicles for service. I had only been there for 7 minutes, just to make sure my husband had remembered everything on the list to be fixed. Just finishing it up and getting ready to leave when a nosy busybody customer came to the office and asked if it was our car outside with the dog in it. I said yes and she started yelling and scolding me in front of everyone that it was too hot to do that. I said I had left all of the windows rolled halfway down and was only gone a few minutes and the dog was fine. She wouldn’t shut up so I told her it was none of her Gd— business. She still kept it up so I told her to leave. She walked away still mouthing off so I loudly shouted F— you! We both returned to our cars and she still kept it up so I flipped her off. Her husband urged her to just get in the car and sit down, so he must be used to her shenanigans. My dog was fine as I had only been gone those few minutes although she tried to say it was 10 , which it was not. I would never place my dog in danger, and I am not an irresponsible pet owner as she tried to imply.I’m glad I stood up to her and didn’ t let her treat me like a doormat. She was out of line on this one. She had no right to do what she did. I normally do not lose my temper and use profanity like that, but she had it coming.

  • Patricia

    No, you weren’t there so you are the extremely ignorant one. My dog was fine and still is. She was in no danger for the 7 minutes I was gone. I knew I would be right back, which I was. Even the service manager said the woman had no call to do what she did, that it was only a matter of just a few minutes. You obviously “don’t get it”, either. MYOB.

  • doggienation

    People, don’t we turn off engine and stay in our cars for 10 minutes or more on a warm (not hot) days? I do, and many people I know do too. I really don’t know where the experiments about temperatures came from, but if I am okay in the car with the engine off, dogs are okay too. So many people love to be a hero without knowing how useless their heroic actions result. Unless the temperature is like the ones in Arizona, it doesn’t harm the dogs. Don’t people go to sauna? I guess these people never go because it can cause heatstroke. Freak people… Mind your own business. Some people go too far.

    • HelloHRu

      You are the biggest fucking moron that’s ever exsisted. You have no business having a dog. Your exactly the type of face I’d like to split open when I see a dog in a car, with windows up on a summer day.

    • Lisa

      You may have missed the point that dogs DON’T sweat like humans. If you watched the video from the VETERINARIAN, he said NEVER EVER leave your dog in a car on a warm day. just common sense – for an animal lover it IS our business if we see a dog in distress.

  • mdb9

    Seriously? Get a grip.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.feare Pamela Hawes Feare

    the dog owner, pressed charges becuse “I broke into her car. I just unlocked it and walked the dog. I have to go to court, not the dog owner, so much for being nice

    • Lisa

      You still did the RIGHT thing. I have done that & would do it again.

      • JanetMermaid

        I agree. Any judge who deserves to wear that robe will know that.

  • Tery Bell Booth Naticchia

    I had the same experience at a Kmart, I walked directly to the customer service & requested they announce over the loud speaker “Who ever left their dog in their please come to the front desk immediately” Whether he did it because he cared or did because I said I would call the police, doesn’t matter! She got the point & left the store with NO ITEMS! 5 min or 10 min it doesn’t matter! Common Sense if you going shopping leave your pet at home!!

  • Taylor

    I completely know how you feel! Just today I picked up my dog from the pet hotel where she stays when my family goes out of town. On the way home I had to return a Redbox dvd so I stopped by the grocery store. I left my dog in the car with the windows rolled halfway down (she’s a bichon so she wouldn’t have been able to jump out) and ran to the Redbox machine and came straight back, LITERALLY all in one minute. By the time I got back to my car, three women had gathered around and all started yelling at me about how my dog could have died and said she was barking profusely meaning she was in heat distress. Like you said before Anne, my dog has separation anxiety so if I go to a different part of the house she starts to freakout, something we have taken her to the vet for. I just don’t appreciate getting ganged up on by people who know absolutely nothing about the situation and won’t even hear your side of the story. Everyone who actually knows me, knows that I love my dog and would do absolutely everything in my power to help her. I probably take her to the vet too much because I’m scared something is wrong with her. It hurt me deeply to have these people telling me I don’t care for my animal when they didn’t even have the heart to listen to me.

  • Lisa

    Every circumstance is different but if you were THAT woman, you may have become emotional as well & once those emotions kick in it’s hard to turn them off. Just chalk it up to the fact that it was a dog lover & if the circumstances were different (as in someone that DID leave their dog for a long time in the parked car), that person could’ve been saving a dogs life.

  • lauree

    Try looking at it this way (watch the video) — people walking by see a dog that is in a locked car on a hot day. They can’t tell what temperature it is on the inside of your car, they don’t know how long you’ve been gone, they don’t know your dog has separation anxiety — all they know is that leaving dogs in hot cars can harm them irreparably or kill them. They don’t know if what you’re saying is legitimate or just an excuse (trust me, people that leave their animals and children in cars make all kinds of excuses).

    The people you encountered reacted emotionally — which could be expected. After all, if they care for animals, they are empathic — and maybe their distress is activated quicker and more strongly. No doubt, the fight/flight response is activated, and once activated, it is very difficult to get that response under control. They were in distress, even panicked. If you were seeing an animal killed, wouldn’t it upset you? Perhaps even beyond what you might think is “rational”?
    I dare say, what you experienced will probably happen more as people become aware of the dangers of leaving animals in cars. Consider leaving your dog with a trusted friend next time you have to do an errand, or whenever possible, leaving them at home. You’ll be doing your dog, yourself, and other people a favor.

  • Dennis Teel

    i would agree,except people have acted that way toward me at 2am, while my dog sits in the car waiting for me when the local temp was in the low 70’s and even 60’s.when people react so emotionally the situation doesn’t matter.even though my dog is comfortable in the car at 2am when someone gets nuts and goes off the deep end about it,everyone within earshot of that person sides with them..suddenly the dog owner (me)who isn’t guilty of anything EXCEPT having his dog in the car is publically branded ,to his face,as being a heartless S.O.B.//that’s not very cool..ya know.