Pets Locked in a Car

by / Thursday, 16 July 2015 / Published in Animal safety, General Pet

It’s that time of year again when people leave their pets in their car and dogs and other pets die as a result. In June alone, there were at least three instances of pets dying in a car because they were locked in with the windows rolled up. Thousands of pets die each year from heat stroke because they were locked in a car with the windows rolled up or merely cracked. This is animal cruelty and here’s what you can do if you see pets locked in a car.


  1. Immediately call 911 or animal control.
  2. Notify nearby businesses so that they can make an announcement to their customers. It may be that the owner did not realize their pet was in danger. Last year I saw this happen outside a PetSmart and the owner was notified in time to save their dog’s life. I don’t know why they would be so ignorant to leave the dog in the car, especially when they could have taken the dog into the store with them.
  3. Stay by the car until help arrives. If you need help to notify nearby businesses, recruit passersby. Most people will be happy to help in order to save a pet’s life.
  4. Help educate pet owners about the dangers of leaving a pet in a car, even on a day with mild temperatures.


Keep in mind that temperatures in a car can rise to more than 30 degrees above the outside temperature in less than 30 minutes. On a hot day, even ten minutes in a car can cause heat exhaustion. Dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as humans, and heat exhaustion can happen even if the car is parked in the shade and/or the windows are cracked.


Don’t be afraid to act. Some states, including Tennessee now protect good Samaritans that help pets locked in cars as long as they notify the authorities before they break into the car or break a window. You can make a difference and save a pet’s life.

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