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Des Moines, IA, United States, 2014/07/07 - The death of pets is on the rise in warm weather as people leave their dogs in the car while they run errands. But heat danger isn't the only thing to worry about when a dog is left unattended. Worry about pet theft, animal cruelty charges, and more.
Dogs face many dangers when they are left unsupervised in their owner’s car. The hazard of heat has been well-documented over the past few years, as many dogs have perished or become sick. Inclement weather plays a big role in the threat to a dog’s well-being while left in a parked car, but there are other risks, too. Friendly dogs could become a victim of theft. Your dog could face undue harassment from children or overzealous adults. A well-meaning passerby could assume your dog is in distress. They may break your window, trying to help. With all these perils lurking in the parking lot, it may be safer to leave your dog at home.
Last year, blog.doingsciencetostuff.com tested parked cars to determine the length of time it takes to reach 100 degrees on an 85 degree day. During their experiment, they determined it can take under five minutes for a closed car to reach 100 degrees. That same car reached a boiling 120 degrees in just 30 minutes. When a dog is left in a hot car, these soaring temperatures are dangerous enough to quickly kill a beloved pet.
While it is not talked about as often, frigid cold can pose just as many risks as heat dangers to dogs. Some dogs, like huskies, are more prepared for icy temperatures, but many, like tiny Chihuahuas or puppies, can become hypothermic or get frostbite. If your dog begins to show symptoms, like excessive shivering or lethargy, they should immediately be taken to a veterinary professional for treatment.
The range of harsh weather isn’t the only risk you and your dog face when you leave them in an unattended parked car. There are people out there who use dogs to make money, or simply might think your dog is the cutest they’ve ever seen. According to Dan Billow, of WESH News, in April of 2014, a Palm Bay, Florida man left his two dogs in his car while he made a quick trip to the drug store. Upon his return, he found only one of his dogs was still safe in the vehicle. He and his wife searched for weeks, and finally found their dog with an alleged dog-napper. The family got their dog back, but not all dog-nappings have a happy ending. Many families will never know what has become of their missing furry family member.
Even if the windows are up, with the doors locked, dogs can face pestering from strangers. Some children may not understand not to tap on the glass, or may think it’s funny to entice your dog into a fit of rage. It’s not only children who behave this way. Adults are not precluded from bad behavior, which can lead to the disturbance of your dog. This can be especially problematic for dogs who have anxiety or fear-based behavioral issues, but it may also cause these types of complications in dogs that do not already display them.
Your dog isn’t the only thing in danger when you leave them in an unattended vehicle. According to AnimalLaw.info, there are eleven states that allow law enforcement or government employees to take action to remove an endangered animal from a car. This can include breaking your window and taking your dog into custody. If this happens, you may face charges of animal neglect, which can result in fines or jail time.
Even if safety precautions, such as controlling the temperature and airflow, have been taken, an overenthusiastic dog lover could take action into their own hands. If they assume your dog was left in a hot car, they may break your window, trying to save your pet from the elements. This could cause more harm than just having to head to the window repair shop. Your dog may get cut on the glass, and need a vet visit. Your dog may get scared and bolt, which is extremely dangerous in a busy parking lot. Your friendly dog may even get scared and bite the window-smasher.
Ensure your dog’s safety by letting them lounge at home, especially on days when the weather is extremely hot or cold. Besides, there’s nothing better than being greeted at the door by your best friend, when you return home.