Each year, hundreds of dogs are left in hot cars by careless owners, and as the weather gets warmer the debate begins about how much the average person can do to rescue them. There is a lot of misinformation online, so if you care about animals it's important to get the facts straight. First: there's no denying that dogs should not be left in hot cars. Even at 70 degrees, the heat inside your car can reach 100 degrees, and it only takes minutes for a dog to die.
Second: leaving the windows rolled down will not help cool down your car, so don't assume a dog is safe if the windows are cracked.
There's only 2 states with laws protecting animal rescuers in these situations, so be prepared to face the music if you break a car window. But if you absolutely must do it, here's how:
1. Try to interact with the dog
With no way of knowing how long the pet has been left in the car, you need to check their health before you take action. A dog that's feeling good will interact with people nearby - barking at them, wagging its tail, following you with their eyes. If a dog seems not to notice you, this is a red flag. Before you move on, check that the car is locked.
2. Check for signs of distress
Dogs who are showing one of the following symptoms are already being effected by the heat: panting, drooling, vomiting, laying down, closing their eyes, not reacting when you speak to them. When you see these signs, it's time to act.
Click the next page to learn what to do!