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Animal Safety in Hot Cars

With the summer months in full swing, the Humane Society of Washington County wants to remind pet owners of the dangers of leaving an animal in a car, even for only a few minutes.

Although the outside temperature may seem comfortable, the temperature inside a parked car - even one parked in the shade - can soar in minutes. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car, even with the windows cracked, can climb to between 100 and 120 degrees. On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than ten minutes.

“We recommend never leaving your pet in a parked car during the summer months, even if it’s ‘just a minute’ while you run an errand,” said Crystal Mowery, Field Services Director. “Internal damage begins quickly as the animal’s organs begin to overheat. The safest thing to do is to leave your pets at home.”

In the event that someone witnesses an animal locked inside a parked car, here are some steps to follow from The Humane Society of the United States to ensure the animal stays safe:

  1. Take down the car’s make, color, model and license plate number.
  2. If there are businesses nearby, immediately notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner.
  3. If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive.