COMMENTARY:  Keep your pets safe and out of hot cars

by Jun 27, 2014OPINIONS0 comments




By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the tragic death of the 22-month-old Atlanta boy who died after being left in a hot car by his father.  While the events that led up to that tragedy are for a jury to decide, the thought of leaving a child in a car on a hot day is unthinkable to most of us.

With that in mind, shouldn’t that same reasoning be extended to animals?

A few weeks ago, I was coming out of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort after covering an event there, and I entered the parking garage.  After opening the doors to the garage, I immediately heard barking.  I looked around and didn’t see any dogs roaming around so I figured they must be in a car.

And, they were.  Two small Dachshunds were locked in a SUV with the windows rolled all the way up.  It was a particularly humid day and probably around 80 degrees in the parking garage.

I’m sure the owner thought that the garage was in the shade so what’s the harm?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), temperatures within a vehicle can rise to 99 degrees after 10 minutes if the outside temperature is 80 degrees.  There is no telling how long those poor dogs were in that vehicle.  If they had been there more than 50 minutes, the temperatures inside could have reached 121 degrees.

Information from the AVMA states, “Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you.  And, cracking the windows makes no difference.”

Keep your pets safe from illness or death.  On hot days, do not leave them in your vehicle…under any circumstances.

As an aside, I called Cherokee Dispatch so hopefully the two dogs were rescued before they became ill or worse.

If you are in need of boarding your pet while you are on vacation, call the Cherokee Animal Care Clinic 497-3401.