Pets in hot cars: What you need to know to before it’s too late

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – As summer approaches, the conversation about pets in hot cars is brought up once again.

News 10 went to find out one animal experts take on what you should do to not only keep your own furry friends safe, but also protecting others.

An innocent trip with your family pet could end up in tragedy.  Especially if you decide to leave them locked up in the car.

“The temperature in the car climbs so quickly, it’s like an oven,” said Dr. Beth Brown, Brown Veterinary Hospital.

That’s why Dr. Brown wants pet owners to be aware before it’s too late.  “The car can climb 10 to 15 degrees in an hour. We’re going upwards of 126 degrees in 85 degree weather.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association says hundreds of pets die of heat exhaustion every year.

Dr. Brown added, “If you have a pet that has a lot of hair, if you have a pet that’s overweight, they’re at even bigger risk because they just can’t get that air difference and get themselves cooled the way they need to.”

So what do you do if you come across a pet sitting in a parked car? Dr. Brown has a tip to help keep everybody involved safe.

“There was a big story about someone breaking a window, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that. The heart and the idea was in the right place, but you have to think about not only your own safety but the safety of the pet with that glass. Plus maybe the anger of owner of that car.”

Brown adds that your best bet might just be to leave your furry friend at home. Helping ensure the safety and comfort of your family member.

If you see an animal left in a parked car at a store, you could go in and ask management to make an announcement to locate the owner. Dr. Brown says it’s also a good idea to contact 911.

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