An Avoidable Tragedy: Dogs in Hot Cars
Every summer, as temperatures rise, so does the danger of companion animals dying because they are carelessly left in a hot car.
While humans cool themselves by relying on an extensive system of sweat glands and evaporation, dogs and other animals have a harder time staying cool, leaving them extremely vulnerable to heatstroke.
Parked cars quickly trap the sun’s heat. Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car with all the windows closed can hit 90 degrees in just 10 minutes.
On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time.
Leaving the windows open a crack doesn’t eliminate the danger of heatstroke or death.
What You Can Do
Know the Law
Find your state’s current animal protection laws (doing a word search for “vehicle” is helpful).
Discover which state laws and city/county ordinances in your jurisdiction address leaving animals unattended in vehicles. The issue may be addressed specifically or by way of general abuse/neglect statutes.
Strengthen Your Laws
Approach your legislators about addressing the “hot car” problem and enabling emergency rescues.
- Find your State legislators
- Find your Federal legislators
- Work with your legislators toward improving animal protection laws
- Florida made it legal for people to rescue other people or animals in imminent danger from a hot car, under certain circumstances. The law includes a clause that would give rescuers “immunity from civil liability for damage” to a motor vehicle, so long as certain criteria are met, including calling 911 during the rescue. Read the law here.
Connect Your Local Law Enforcement Agencies with ALDF Resources
Let your local authorities know that ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program attorneys offer training and resources to law enforcement agents on this and other animal law issues.
The ALDF Sunshade
ALDF created the Dogs in Hot Cars Sunshade so you can make a strong statement about protecting animals from the dangers of hot cars where they need it most—in parking lots across America.
Order your Dogs in Hot Cars Sunshade to protect animals wherever you park. All proceeds benefit the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Download & Share
Download this image to share on the social network of your choice.
Download and print our flyer, and hang in grocery stores, cafes, laundromats, and other locations where people may leave dogs in hot cars. Many businesses will be happy to hang a flyer in their front window if you ask politely.
Download & Print ALDF’s Dogs in Hot Cars Flyer
Download and print our flyer, and hang it in grocery stores, cafes, laundromats, and other locations where people may leave dogs in hot cars. Many businesses will be happy to hang a flyer in their front window if you ask politely.
And share the flyer with your local humane agencies to help them make the public aware of these laws.