How many times have you seen a person park their car on a warm day, only to carelessly leave their dog behind inside? It happens all of the time and, yep, those scenes make our blood boil, too!

Believe it or not, less than a third of our states have laws that go after negligent pet owners who leave their animals unattended in the sweltering heat of their vehicles. Because of these lax regulations, one can only assume that the estimated thousands of owners per year who come back to their cars only to be met with a dead or suffering dog don’t know the facts.

As it turns out, even parking a car on a seemingly pleasant 75-degree day could mean that the inside might reach temperatures as high as 90-degrees in under 2 minutes and up to 104 in 20 minutes. Startling numbers, to say the least!

And while various animal rights groups are doing their best to educate the public on this dangerous trend, sadly, we have already witnessed a few cases of this negligence for ourselves this summer.

So, if you come across an overheated pup in a hot car, do these 3 things BEFORE you even think of breaking a window…

  1. Speak Up

    The best way to stamp out this careless behavior is to spread the knowledge. Keep those eyes open when you are walking through the parking lot of your town’s grocery store. If you see a driver getting ready to leave their canine in the car, go up to them and tell them all about the risk they are taking.

    Don’t be shy; most moms and dads to dogs don’t want to see their fur babies suffer, but if the owner does decide to ignore your pleas, go ahead and call animal control or your local non-emergency police department number. Be ready to give them the specifics about the dog, as well as the car make, model, and license plate number. Better to be safe than sorry!

  2. Locate the owner

    No driver in sight? Make contact with your fellow passersby and inquire at adjacent businesses, especially fast food restaurants and retail shops. Many times, the culprits are folks who run into a store to do some quick shopping without realizing that a hot car could kill their beloved pooch within minutes.

  3. Know your state’s laws

    broken windowTwanda Baker via Flickr

    Unfortunately, sometimes we can’t all be lucky enough to completely prevent an owner from leaving their dog in a hot car. If you happen to come across an animal who is clearly suffering and in need of immediate attention, your subsequent actions should depend entirely on the place in which you live.

    While a handful of states have enacted good Samaritan laws that allow car windows to be broken in certain situations, few of these apply to non-emergency workers—which could mean a hefty fine or even a trip to jail for you!

    That’s why it’s best to educate yourself on your state laws before you take any chances. Click here for Animal League Defense Fund’s list of rights.

Do you have any other points that you would like to add to this list? Have you ever encountered an unattended dog in a hot car? If so, what did you do?