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Hot cars can be death traps for dogs

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

The dog days of summer are here, and many people are traveling with their canine companions or driving them to fun places like the beach or the dog park. But unfortunately for dogs, a joyride can quickly turn into a death sentence if their guardians leave them in a parked car, even for a minute or two. It doesn’t take much time for disaster to strike, and it does not help if the windows are cracked or there is water in the car. It’s simply too hot for Spot.

Every year, PETA hears about gruesome cases involving dogs who have literally been cooked to death inside parked vehicles. In a recent USA Today column by Sharon Peters, Plano, Texas, veterinarian Shawn Messonnier described what happens to animals who are left in hot cars. As the car heats up, dogs try to cool themselves the only way they canβ€”by panting. But with only hot air to breathe, panting doesn’t work, and many dogs panic and try to escape the stiflingly hot vehicle by clawing at the windows or digging at the floor or seats.

Their desperation only increases their body temperature, and some dogs have heart attacks as a result. Without intervention, trapped dogs collapse, vomit and have diarrhea and soon lose consciousness as their organs begin to die. Death quickly follows. According to Dr. Messonnier, “When you do an autopsy on a dog [who] died this way, the organs are soupy.” Continue reading Hot cars can be death traps for dogs