Every summer, thousands of dogs suffer and die when their guardians leave them inside a parked car. It might be for “just a minute” while they run inside the gas station or pop into a store, but it could result in tragedy. NFL free safety Tyrann Mathieu is a huge animal lover, so when he heard about the dangers of leaving dogs inside hot cars, he jumped into action. How long do you think you could last inside a car that’s baking in the summer heat? Five minutes? Six? Mathieu accepted the challenge—and the results are shocking …

Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: 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. Dogs aren’t equipped to handle such high temperatures. Unlike humans, they can’t sweat to cool themselves off—and while you can take off your jacket or roll up your sleeves, dogs wear permanent fur coats 365 days a year. Animals can suffer and die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, even with the car’s windows partially rolled down. Parking in the shade and leaving water in the vehicle won’t help.

If You See a Dog Locked Inside a Hot Car

  • Take down the vehicle’s make, model, color and license plate number, and have the owner paged in the nearest buildings.
  • Call local humane authorities or the police immediately. Call 911 if the animal is in distress.
  • Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.
  • If you can’t find the owner, the authorities are unresponsive or too slow, and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, and take steps to remove the suffering animal from the car.
  • Wait for the authorities to arrive.

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