PSA: Don’t Freaking Leave Your Dogs in Hot Freaking Cars

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Photo via iStock.com/kyrien

Please, for the love of man’s best friend, do not leave your dogs in hot cars this summer.

It should be obvious at this point, but year after year pet owners put their companions in harm’s way, letting their prone-to-overheating pets swelter inside what are essentially Subaru-shaped sweat lodges. Hundreds of pets die this way. With temperatures climbing into the 90s today, now is as good a time as ever to reiterate what should be common sense.

Because this is somehow still happening. On Thursday, police in Hull had to intervene when a family locked their dog inside their SUV at Nantasket Beach. The car’s interior climbed to 115 degrees, police say.

That kind of heat is not uncommon inside cars baking in the sun. Even with the windows cracked, cars can get very hot, very fast.

Cambridge Police reminded us of this fact at a demo last month, when they parked a squad car right on the grass at Danehy Park and it heated up to a dog-killing 167 degrees. They also demonstrated the dangers of fireworks by exploding a mannequin’s hand.

The Nantasket incident, which with any luck will be the last of the season, came after police in Kansas rescued an unattended dog found hanging from his leash out the window of a truck outside a Wal-Mart. The dog lived.

There have not been media accounts of any other cases in the state yet this summer, and MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin says he hasn’t heard of any incidents yet either.

There could be a new law to come out of the Beacon Hill to address the issue. A bill would protect people who smash car windows to free animals trapped in cars (as long as it’s done only as a last resort). It would also let first responders break into vehicles to come to a pet’s rescue. The bill earned unanimous approval in the Senate last month.

Advocates for its passage in the House staged a demonstration outside the State House this week.

“There’s a lot of important things to get done in the next couple of weeks in this building, but we should never ever give short shrift to saving these beautiful creatures,” Sen. Mark Montigny tells the State House News Service.

To make the case, Laura Hagen, deputy director of advocacy for the MSPCA, dressed up in a big furry dog costume and crawled inside a car, then watched as the interior temperature soared past 100 degrees.

“Twenty degrees in 20 minutes,” she said when she emerged, according to SHNS.

Must have been hot, right?

Would be for your dog, too.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/07/15/dogs-hot-cars/