District Attorney Mike Ramos released a public service announcement today to remind the public that when dogs are left in hot cars, they can succumb to heatstroke and ultimately death within minutes.
“The short video we released today is a humorous approach to a very serious topic,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “That shouldn’t change the overall message, though. While this particular PSA focuses on dogs, the same can be said for all animals and even children, which we see far too often. Please do not leave any animal or child alone in a hot car.”
On a warm day, temperatures inside of a vehicle can quickly rise to dangerous levels. For example, on a day where the temperature is 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a vehicle with the windows opened slightly can reach nearly 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After approximately 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.
“Cars literally turn into ovens in a matter of moments, regardless of whether the windows are rolled down or not,” said Claudia Swing, coordinator for the San Bernardino County Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT). “What many pet owners don’t know is that dogs can’t release their body heat like people do who naturally sweat to help their bodies cool down. They regulate their body temperature by panting, so a small closed space such as a car doesn’t provide enough fresh air for their bodies to remain at a safe level."
Swing added that animals can sustain brain damage or even die in as little as fifteen minutes. Staying cool is extra tough for dogs because they can only reduce their internal temperature by panting and sweating through their paw pads. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, please contact nearby security or your local law enforcement agency immediately. Be prepared to provide a vehicle description and license plate number.