It happens every year: pets dying or seriously injured when left inside their owner’s car on a hot summer day.
With much publication and prevention messages surfacing social media, the number of incidents relating to this issue were expected to drop, but instead, it still happens on a regular basis.
“I believe that people think that that minute that they’re gone [for] is not enough to do damage. When in reality, I’ve had multiple cases this year already where animals are hit with heatstroke while their owners are in the vehicle driving.”
“You’re going to want to pay [closer] attention to heavier-coated breeds. Of course all animals are susceptible to heatstroke, and all of them are sensitive to it, just as people are. Some of your main telling signs [of heatstroke] are going to be excessive panting, or panting for a long period of time. This is definitely something that you want to be aware of.”
Those who had left their pets inside their cars were often in a hurry, or did not have another option to leave their pets elsewhere. That is why Vandenkroonenberg says planning is crucial.
“If they find themselves in a situation where the dog does need to be left in the vehicle, my immediate reaction to that is ‘you need to plan ahead for these things. You need to know what you’re doing.’ I can’t stress the importance of how fast heatstroke is happening this year. All of us have felt the heat… You really have to [make] plans, don’t put yourself in that position.”
Although cases involving these types of incidents still happen, Vandenkroonenberg says society is able to move forward together through spreading the message.
“It’s all about education. We would love to see many people talking about it [such as] sharing it on social media, business owners accepting pets coming into their stores when possible, [and] providing those cool-down spots.”
When the temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) outside, the temperature inside cars can reach 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) in just an hour. Rolling down the windows have little to no effect on the inside temperature.