It Has - It Does - and It Will.
Heat and humidity are moving back in. Pets in cars is a real problem. Are we totally unscared by education or do we just not think? I'm not really sure which.
First of all, in the "good old summertime", I do not take my dog with me when doing errands. Time can get away from me. A distraction on a "quick errand" and pretty soon quite a bit of time has gone by. In the meantime, the pet is in the car suffering. I say suffering because a hot vehicle can kill a pet. It kills children and our pets are also potential victims. To make matters worse - our pets are always wearing their coats.
We've all seen it. At least if you ever go to any store with a parking lot - walked down any street - you've seen it. A dog sitting in a hot car. Yes, the windows maybe cracked however it is not OK. It could mean life or death to the pet even with the windows cracked.
Maybe you've heard a barking dog as you get out of or into your car, come out of a store, or while taking a walk down the street. Do you keep walking or take steps to get help?
What could be done? If I see or hear a dog in a vehicle and the day is over 70 degrees, I check it out. Now, I don't break in - or open any doors - or cause a scene. I do, however, leave a piece of paper under the windshield wiper that says - "Please leave your pet home. It's too hot in the car. Thank you". I jot down a brief description of the car, dog, and of course the license plate number. Then immediately go to the stores Customer Service counter and ask them to please page the owner of this vehicle. There is a dog in the car and it's too warm for it to be left there. Listen for the announcement. If nothing happens, call law enforcement.
Pets in cars parked along city streets can make it more difficult to track down an owner. Call the police and then wait. Be upfront and give your name and location. This is not the time to disappear with that wonderful "anonymous message". This is serious and you need to be of assistance.
In all cases, if you think an animal is in imminent danger, call the Police. Here again, wait for Law Enforcement to arrive. If you are concerned about an angry owner returning before the Police arrive, wait at a safe distance. Stay safe. It doesn't help at all if you get into a scuffle in the process of trying to do something positive.
The same concerns apply to pets in any vehicle at any beach, park, sporting event, eating establishment etc. And - don't forget to notice those dogs tied out or kenneled without shade. They too may need your assistance. Call Law Enforcement - make a report.
You don’t have to be a Veterinarian to know when an animal needs help. Just use common sense. Try not to over react or under react. Stand up for those who cannot speak.