Because Las Vegas has been ranked as a top dog-friendly city and one of the hottest U.S. cities, 15 PETA posters proclaiming, “Too Hot for Spot!” are on their way to Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s office. The city will distribute the posters around community recreation facilities in an effort to cut down the number of dogs who are left in parked cars this summer.
Since last year, there have been at least 71 hot weather–related animal deaths across the U.S.—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Dogs—who can sweat only through their paw pads and can cool themselves mainly by panting—can rapidly succumb to heatstroke, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside.
“Even a ‘quick errand’ can end in tragedy, as dogs can bake to death inside a parked car within just minutes,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is pleased to work with the city of Las Vegas to remind drivers that the safest place for dogs is inside the home, where it’s nice and cool.”
PETA urges anyone who sees an animal left alone inside a car to call humane authorities or 911 immediately and remain on the scene until the situation has been resolved. If authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the animal’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness who will back up your assessment before carefully removing the animal from the car. Treat suspected heatstroke by wrapping a cool, wet towel around the animal’s head and neck, and when authorities arrive, ensure that the animal is taken to a veterinarian for care.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.