Just in time for the worst heat wave in memory, the Groton Animal Foundation has launched its campaign to remind residents to leave their pets at home this summer. The temptation to bring a beloved dog along for the ride can have tragic consequences, as we have seen too many times. The current campaign relies on posters, a banner, and PSAs on local radio stations to get the word out.
Studies have shown that even when the ambient temperature is moderate, cars act like greenhouses to trap heat inside. Even with the windows cracked, a car’s internal temperature can rise 40 degrees, and most of that will happen in the first 15 minutes. The rate of increase in temperature does not change if the window is cracked, as many people believe. So leaving pets for “just a minute” can still result in serious harm. Your dog cannot cool herself efficiently, and will quickly feel the effects of heatstroke and suffer irreversible damage within minutes.
If you see a pet locked in a car that appears to be ok, stay with it until its owner returns. If the dog appears to be in distress, call 911, and wait for police to arrive.
If you love your pets, leave them home with shelter from direct sun and plenty of fresh water. They will be eagerly waiting to welcome you home!