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Survey: 1/3 of adults don’t react to dogs left in hot cars

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On an 85 degree day, it takes only ten minutes for the inside of a car to reach 102 degrees. Within a half hour, the temperature can reach 120. Too hot for anyone to be in the car and that goes for not just humans, but pets.

The ASPCA released a poll that shows good intentions don’t always equate to action when it comes to rescuing pets in parked cars on hot days. They report that the overwhelming majority of adults (93%) said they would do something to help if they saw a dog in a car on a hot day. But of those adults who faced such a situation, only 67% of them took action.

Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital says “Reacting responsibly to the dangerous situation of a dog left in a hot car is critical during these warm months. There is a startling gap between those who claim they would act and those who actually did something when faced with the reality of a dog at risk. Closing the gap and taking action could mean the difference between life and death for these animals.”

Other findings from the survey:

  • 51% of those who saw or heard a dog in a hot car made attempts to look for the owner, making it the most common action taken.
  • 24% said they made attempts to rescue the dog themselves.
  • 23% said they called the police.
  • Women were much more likely than men to take action when seeing a dog in a hot car (75% versus 58%)

The ASPCA encourages people to locate the dog’s owner and/or contact local law enforcement when you see a dog locked in a hot car and remain on the scene. As always, if you suspect any pet is overheating, call a veterinarian right away.