Please Don’t Leave Your Companion Animal in a Parked Car

Advice below adapted from the Humane Society of the U.S. (

1. On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 120 degrees in minutes – even with the windows partly open.
2. A companion animal can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation in these conditions.
3. Signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering, vomiting, deep red or purple tongue.
4. If your companion animal becomes overheated, begin immediate steps to lower her/his temperature as follows:

* Move her/him to the shade and apply cool (not cold) water over entire body to gradually lower temperature;
* Apply ice packs or cold towels – to head, neck and chest only;
* Offer her/him small amounts of cool water or let her/him lick ice cubes;
* Take her/him to a vet immediately; this could save her/ his life.

5. If you see an animal in a parked car alone on a hot day, try to find the animal’s person right away. If necessary, call animal control or the police.
6. Another reason to avoid leaving your companion animal in a car alone is that a thief might steal her/him.
7. When traveling in a vehicle, cats should be in a carrier and dogs should be in a dog harness.
8. Each animal should have ID, such as a tattoo or chip.

For more information about animal welfare and animal rights, contact People for Animal Rights, P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse 13215-0358, (315)488-PURR, (8 a.m. – 10 p.m.)

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