Animal Rescue League Reminding People Not To Leave Animals in Hot Cars

HYANNIS – The Animal Rescue League of Boston is launching its annual safety campaign, “Too Hot for Spot,” to remind pet owners of the dangers of leaving animals in hot cars.

“Really when it comes to animals and hot cars, anything over 80 degrees puts them in an element of danger, even with the windows crack, when the temperatures start to rise, the temperature inside the vehicles can get between 118 to 145 degrees in a matter of minutes,” said Spokesman Mike Defina.

“It’s incredibly important for folks to realize the dangers of that.”     

Defina said that unlike humans, animals cannot efficiently cool their bodies.

The heat inside a car makes animals susceptible to heat stroke, and the onset symptoms is rapid.

“Sadly we still see instances of this and unfortunately the onset of heatstroke is very rapid and can be life threatening,” said Defina.  

“So we are reminding people as we do every summer during this public awareness campaign, if you are in the car and you’re running around, it’s best to leave your dog at home. Keep them in a cool area, with plenty of cold water, food, and keep the comfortable.”

The ARL is also concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect animals being left in cars.

According to data collected by the Rescue League, a pre pandemic grocery store trip averaged around 41 minutes.

With stores and other businesses now needing to take extra steps for in person services, daily errand times are increasing.

“We are living in a time where these things just take longer,” said Defina.

“You think of all the steps we have to go through now just to get through the grocery store, there really is no such things as ‘I’ll be in and out in five minutes,’ that just doesn’t happen.”  

It is also against the law in Massachusetts to keep an animal confined in a vehicle when extreme heat or cold may threaten the animal’s health.

The ARL launched its “Too Hot for Sport” campaign seven years ago.

To learn more about the campaign, click here.

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