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Hot cars are death traps for dogs

By jim Published: May 6, 2009

Every year, dogs die after being locked inside cars while their owners leave them to shop or run errands, often for "just a few minutes." These tragedies occur with alarming frequency, yet the animals’ deaths are completely preventable.

United Animal Nations, a national non-profit animal protection group, operates the "My Dog is Cool" Campaign to prevent dogs and other animals from dying in hot cars during warm-weather months.

A Stanford University test found that when it is 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can rocket to 116 degrees within an hour, even with windows cracked. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 102 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 30 minutes. A dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

The lifesaving Web site is a free, friendly resource to help spread the word about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. Resources include:

  • "It's hot!" fliers that people can leave on a windshield if they see a dog unattended in a hot car

  • A weather forecasting tool that allows pet owners to enter their zip code to see if it is too hot to take their dog in the car

  • Free downloadable "hot temperature warning" posters that can be hung in store windows provides everything people need to know to keep dogs safe during hot weather.

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