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Vet Sits in Hot Car for Thirty Minutes
Dr. Ernie Ward shows how car temperatures can quickly rise to fatal levels
Now that we're in the thick of the summer, it's almost unbearable to be outside for an extended period of time--especially here in New York with the humidity! Yet people continue to think it's okay to leave pets in cars without adequate precautions. Just last week, animal control officers rescued a three-month old puppy from a car in a Riverside, Calif. shopping mall parking lot. The temperature outside was in the 90's and inside the car it was well over 100 degrees.  Fortunately the puppy was saved in time, but his internal temperature was dangerously high.
 
It's common for people to think that they're just going to run a quick errand or that cracking a window will be sufficient, but temperatures can quickly become fatal. I was surprised to learn that on a 60-70 degree day, temperatures inside the car can reach well into the 90's and beyond.
 
North Carolina veterinarian, Dr. Ernie Ward, is on a mission to bring more awareness to this problem. Armed with a clock, a thermometer, and a video camera, Dr. Ward sat in his car for thirty minutes on a 95 degree day to feel what it would be like for a dog trapped in a hot car.
 
You can see as the minutes pass that Dr. Ward is not only drenched in sweat (something dogs can not do as efficiently as we can), but is increasingly distressed as the temperature climbs to 117 degrees. Although there is a visible breeze outside, none of it comes into the car, despite the cracked windows. You can only imagine what the experience would be like for a dog who has no control over the situation.  
 
If Dr. Ward's video convinces even one person to leave their dog at home while running errands, his suffering will have been worth it!
 

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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Submitted by Audrey Savage | July 7 2013 |

What a great way to show what really happens on a hot day when a dog is left inside a parked car! Living in Texas, it gets hotter than that! We never take our dogs in the car on hot days because it is too dangerous. Thank you Dr. Ward for your willingness to show by example what can happen very quickly to pets if left in hot vehicles.

Submitted by nightingale | July 20 2013 |

PEOPLE, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR, EVEN IF ITS ONLY FIVE MIN, yesterday I was at target and when I walked back to my car saw a lovley nice dog panting and looking pretty rough, he/she looked just like Boomer (me and coby's dog), So I said to self, "self, put stuff in car then drive over there when done and check to make sure the owner is back" but when I came back to check on the dog the owner was STILL not there, So what did I do, I stayed with the dog, called the police, called target and gave them the plate number of the car, after about 10 min, I started to get a little panicky, my van read 98 degrees, I was starting to think I should have gotten a hanger and put it through the window to open the door to let the dog out, I started searching for water in the van, ( I know I had to have something, and I always carry a couple portable water dog containers for our own pooches, just as I was searching my van, this IDIOT WALKS TOWARD THE CAR (YES IT'S CAPS BECUASE I AM FREAKING YELLING RIGHT NOW) I SAID IS THIS YOUR CAR, HE SAID YES, AND I SAID HOLY SHIT I WAS EXPECTING A TEENAGER, YOUR AN ADULT YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER I HAVE CALLED THE POLICE ON YOU, YOU SHOULD FEEL LIKE A SHIT LEAVING YOUR POOR DOG IN THE CAR, HOW THE HELL COULD YOU DO THIS TO YOUR DOG???? THEN I SAD %$#%$@#$@ SOME WORDS AND HE SPED OFF JUST AS THE COPS PULLED UP, WHAT AN ASS

Submitted by Sarahkate | July 21 2013 |

I cannot tell you how many times I have been threatened with physical harm and yes even death by people who seem to feel it is their "right" to leave their dog in their car on a hot day. I approach people very politely but now with cell phone in hand with the emergency Animal Control line punched in ready to hit send. I'd like to have two lines available on my cell, the other for a 9-1-1 call next time my life is threatened by these hyperaggressive idiots who somehow believe their "rights" are being "violated" by anyone daring to inform them their dog is in distress. A friend of mine is now preparing to film people who act like this on her smart phone and post the perps to YouTube - after she calls the cops on them.

PetSmart and PetCo management will not help with these situations - weird because people can take their dogs into PetSmart and Petco and not leave them in the car in the first place. But PetSmart and Petco say they don't want to help with these situations because it might "offend" a potential customer. IMO, they are as bad as the people leaving their dogs in hot cars!

Submitted by Donna Lober | July 7 2014 |

I sincerely hope that this video does not give some people the impression that they have 30 minutes with which to subject their poor animal to this!! The dog would be in a panic looking for a way out, something the vet was not doing, he knew that he could exit at any time he wanted, as well as not wearing a fur coat. So there is a different amount of stress there. I feel that while it is good to remind people, this may also be creating 'somewhat' of a disservice to the animal. Also, shopkeepers should be doing everything they can to help out! Including providing notices on this subject, and for heaven's sake not arguing with people about their dog accompanying them...even service dogs..which I have read about lately! Maybe some laws need to changed on this! I leave my pets at home, but there are some who travel with theirs. Maybe better accommodations could be made, including a drop off at the business place like some malls have for children.

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