To The Dog Custodians Out There:
Personally, I'd like to see how you feel about sitting in the same car with your dog, with the windows opened a crack when it's 90 outside, with no shade or wind?
To be honest, "cracked" open windows and thoughtless statements like "They'll be fine" are mindless thoughts from ignorant dog custodians. Period. Did you know that rolling down the windows a bit HAS ZERO EFFECT on the environment inside the car?
Did you know that your dog can suffer heat stroke or brain damage and can even die from a mere 15 minutes of roasting in a car? But it's "OK?" I love the famous line, I will only be gone a couple of minutes. Have you ever timed yourself and your store visits?
When the temperature is:
- 78-degrees outside, it can get up to 100-120 degrees in the car.
- On a 90-degree day, it can get up to 160 degrees in about 10 minutes.
And that's what you leave your dogs in?
The fix to this is to leave your pups at home. They can't expel heat like we can, so the effects of heat builds up faster in them. That's because they're primary cooling process is panting. But when they pant hot breath back out into the hot car you just left them in seems like more of a punishment or cruel trap.
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To the Dog Humanitarians out there:
First, I never want to hear that "I had ice cream in the car, so I could not stay." posted to FB if someone sees an animal in distress. OMG, so an innocent life may cease and suffer horrendously before it dies, because you did not want your ice cream to melt!? Sometimes events take precedence over moments.
While some states have laws that protect dogs in hot cars, there are more and more states are making it legal to be able to break open windows of cars where dogs are left in the heat. CALIFORNIA is not yet one of those states. At present, there are 17 states that have made it illegal to leave animals in dangerous situations.
- Arizona A.R.S. § 13-2910
- California Cal. Penal Code § 597.7
- Delaware 11 Del.C. § 1325(b)(6)
- Illinois 510 ILCS 70/7.1
- Maine 7 MRSA § 4019
- Maryland Md. Transp. Code § 21-1004.1
- Minnesota M.S.A. § 346.57
- Nevada N.R.S. 574.195
- New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. 644:8-aa
- New York NY Agri. & Mkts. § 353-d (Also has bill pending that would allow any good Samaritan acts)
- North Carolina NC ST § 14-363.3
- North Dakota NDCC, 36-21.2-12
- Oregon SB 614
- Rhode Island Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-3.2
- South Dakota S D C L § 40-1-36
- Vermont 13 V.S.A. § 386
- Washington RCWA 16.52.340
Sadly, New Jersey and W Virginia specifically do not give license to break windows, not even to law enforcement. WTF ass backwards reasoning is that?
But there are several that have made it OK (civil immunity) to rescue the dog when no other means of succor seems apparent:
- Florida: HB 131 (effective March 2016)
- New York A07715 (pending)
- Ohio: SB 215 (effective August 29, 2016)
- Tennessee T. C. A. § 29-34-209
- Wisconsin AB 308
States with “civil immunity” bills pending:
- California AB 797 amended.
- New York: A bill that strengthens existing laws.
- Pennsylvania HB 1516: This bill would make it “a summary offense to confine a dog or cat in a car under conditions that jeopardize the pet’s health.
Regardless of the legality of the situation, you should be prepared to save the dog, in a safe and legally protective fashion so that your good deed does not turn into a legal nightmare.
First, the generic symptoms of stroke that you might spot from outside a car include:
- thick saliva,
- heavy panting,
- dark tongue,
- vomiting and
- lack of coordination.
Other symptoms that a dog custodian might be aware of are:
- Excessive thirst,
- lack of appetite,
- rapid heartbeat,
- fever, and
- bloody diarrhea.
But what can you do to help a dog in heat distress from a locked car?
For one, if you are a bleeding heart like I am, have an item on or with you at all or most times that is designed to break windows.
Two: Learn how to break windows. Do your internet research about the subject. When you find an answer, confirm it with other results. Food for thought: Tempered (side) car windows are DESIGNED to be much stronger in the center. Thus, the tool I have requires a quick, hard strike to a lower corner of a window, which will spider-crack the glass, not shatter it all over the dog.
Think of the dog! I saw a video the other day with a man destroying a car window with a huge rock, all to save a dog. Good for you buddy... but make sure the dog is as far away from you as possible when you hurtle that fear-inducing meteorite-like rock into the car. AKA: Don't scare the dog to death!
Additionally, you should take actions to legally protect yourself.
- Try to have the owner of the car paged in the nearest shops or buildings.
- Call your local humane authorities or police and see if they can get out there in a timely fashion.
But if it's taking too long and the dog appears to be in immediate and imminent danger from the heat,
- Find one or more (the more the merrier) witnesses who can attest to the situations and get the animal out of the car.
Then wait for the authorities to arrive.
While you're waiting for the authorities to arrive,
- Get the dog in an air-conditioned space like a car or building.
- Pat the pup down with water on their underside and feet, give them water to drink.
- Then get the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
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While we're talking about heat, let's talk about the ground on hot days.
On an 87-degree day, asphalt can get up to 140 degrees. Burns and blistering can kick in pretty fast at the 150-degree mark. Not to mention the heat reflection causes heat issues with our pups that are much lower to the ground than we are.
One of the best tests to see if you want to walk your dog across that parking lot, or at your local food fair, is to put your hand down and see how long you'd like to stay touching the ground.
Remember, if you need to muzzle your dog, then you are restricting their cooling system of panting. So maybe you need to not take them out on hot ground, period.
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So be careful, leave your pups at home if it's over 80 and don't be stupid about the health of your dog. They depend on you to take care of them and make the right decisions.
(So carry pieces of a broken spark plug with you at all times!)
pets best insurance
youtube.com (Optimal tool for easily breaking a dog out.)
A fascinating look at how car glass can or does break.