Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Hot Car Isn't a Friend to Pets

The heat and humidity of summer is upon us and now is no time to leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even for a short amount of time. During the course of summer, Overland Park Animal Control Officers will routinely respond to several calls a week on reports of pets left inside unattended vehicles.

Before leaving a pet in a car for even a minute, consider that if the outdoor temperature is 82 degrees, inside a vehicle it can reach 109 degrees. An afternoon outside temperature of 101 degrees can increase the heat inside a vehicle to 119 degrees. With windows slightly open, the inside temperature can still exceed 110 degrees.

Animals are not able to sweat like humans do. Dogs cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws. If they have only overheated air to breathe, animals can collapse, suffer brain damage and possibly die of heatstroke. Just 15 minutes can be enough for an animal's body temperature to climb from a normal 102.5 to deadly levels that will damage the nervous and cardiovascular systems, often leaving the animal comatose, dehydrated and at risk of permanent impairment or death.

Overland Park Animal Control Officers can forcibly rescue a pet if it is determined there is danger to the animal. Each officer carries a gauge to determine the interior temperature of a vehicle.

Pet owners are subject to prosecution for animal cruelty. Next time you think it will take only a minute, consider your pet’s safety and well-being. Its life is dependent on your careful consideration.

If you see a pet inside a car on a hot day, call 913/895-6300 and police dispatchers will notify an animal control officer.