We just received the latest email from the Denver Animal Shelter and there wasn’t a way to share just a portion of it dealing with how much danger a pet can get into if they’re left in a car even for a few minutes. So instead of just pointing you furparents to the entire email (which I’m sure you already receive, yes?), here’s the text from the email in it’s entirety.
Leaving a Dog in a Hot Car for “Just a Minute” May Be Too Long
On a warm day, the temperature inside of a vehicle can reach 120°F in a matter of minutes – even with the windows cracked. Since dogs don’t sweat they can’t cool themselves, and a dog’s body temperature can rise quickly. As a result, the animal could suffer brain damage, organ damage, or even die from heatstroke or suffocation. In short: Never leave a dog in a hot car!
A new Colorado bill to protect animals and people left in hot cars goes into effect August 9. House Bill 1179, Immunity For Emergency Rescue From Locked Vehicle, applies to aiding dogs, cats and at-risk individuals (infants, children, the elderly and the disabled) that have been left in a locked vehicle. Individuals who break into a car to help a dog, cat or at-risk person might face criminal or civil charges. However, an individual could receive immunity if all the following conditions apply:
- The individual has a reasonable belief that the person or animal is in imminent danger of death or serious injury.
- The individual determines that the vehicle is locked and forcible entry is necessary.
- The individual makes a reasonable effort to locate the owner of the vehicle, including going into nearby businesses and making an announcement asking the owner of the vehicle to come forward.
- The individual documents the color, make, model, license plate number and location of the vehicle.
- The individual contacts a local law enforcement agency, fire department or Denver Animal Protection — or dials 911 — before entering the vehicle and obeys any lawful order given.
- The individual uses no more force than is reasonably necessary to enter the vehicle.
- The individual remains with the vehicle until law enforcement or a first responder arrives. If the individual has to leave before that happens, they must place a notice on the windshield that includes their contact information and the contact information of the location where they took the person or animal. The individual must also contact law enforcement, animal control or other first responders to advise them that they are leaving. The individual should only leave the scene if absolutely necessary or if they are taking the person or animal to the hospital, animal shelter or a veterinarian.