Every year hundreds of dogs die of heat exhaustion because they were left in a hot car "for just a minute." This is cruel and avoidable.

It may not seem hot to you, but you're not wearing a fur coat. Pets can sustain brain damage and die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Dogs can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their nose and paw pads.

It's estimated that on a sunny 70-degree day, it only takes 30 minutes for the temperature inside a car to reach 104 degrees. Heatkills.org says, "When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172."


Signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination.

If you find a dog inside a car displaying symptoms of heatstroke, call 911, the police, or any emergency personnel as they can use whatever means necessary to extract a pet out of an unattended vehicle. New York does not have a Good Samaritan Law allowing you to break a window to save a pet (although, we would rescue the dog and pay the consequences later).

New York Law does prohibit leaving pets confined in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection, where confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious injury due to exposure.

If it's sunny and warm, just leave them at home. If you don't, you'll miss out on that wonderful greeting like you've been away for years!

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