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 89 degrees in just 10 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 114 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

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.

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.

Raise Awareness

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.


Spread the Word

You can help get the word out about the danger of leaving dogs in hot cars.


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