Every summer, thousands of dogs suffer and die when their guardians leave them alone in a parked car—even for “just a minute”—while they run an errand.

1. Imagine being locked inside a parked car on a hot summer day.

dog in hot car 1

Dreyfuss In The Car | Shane Adams | CC by 2.0 

2. You feel the temperature rising, become extremely thirsty, and start to feel dizzy. 

dog in hot car 2

Prancy In The Car | tps12 | CC by SA-2.0 

3. During the “dog days” of summer, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well above 100ºF, even with the windows slightly open, in just a matter of minutes. A dog’s body is different from a human’s and is not equipped to handle this degree of heat.

dog in hot car 3

Dog In Car | Yuichiro Haga | CC by 2.0 

4. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

dog in hot car 4

Frank | Tony Alter | CC by 2.0 

5. If it’s too hot for you, it’s even worse for dogs because their bodies can’t sweat to cool down. They can only cool themselves by panting.

dog in hot car 5

Hot In The Car 

6. Heatstroke can come on quickly and result in brain damage or death. Shock sets in as the dog’s internal temperature rises, and death can occur in just 15 minutes.

Bax in car

7. It’s a gruesome, terrifying way to die—dogs struggle to escape the vehicle, often salivating heavily, losing control of their bladder and bowels, and clawing the car windows so violently that their paws become bloodied.

dog in hot car 7

Dog In Open Car Window | MC Morgan | CC by-SA 2.0 

8. Are you coming back? I don’t know how much longer I can take this.

dog in hot car 8

355:365 Dog Is My Co-Pilot | Nomadic Lass | CC by-SA 2.0 

9. Remember: Even if you think you could handle the heat, your dog may not be able to. 

 Be a hero for hot dogs!

It’s our duty to help animals in need and keep them safe—dogs in hot cars are no exception. They need you! If you ever see a dog locked inside a hot car, don’t be shy—take action! Here’s what to do:

1. Write down the car’s make, model, and license plate number, or take a picture.

2. Alert local businesses and have them page the car’s owner.

3. Call local humane authorities, police, or 911 (this is an emergency!).

4. Never leave the scene until help arrives. If the guardian or authorities don’t arrive in a timely manner and you think the dog’s life is in danger, find witnesses who back your assessment and take other measures to free the animal from the car, then continue to wait for the authorities to arrive. Do whatever it takes—the dog’s life may depend on it. 

5. Check this out for more ways to spread the word with printable leaflets, a shareable image for Facebook, and more!