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Veterinarians say: Dogs don’t belong in hot cars


Summer is in full swing and even a quick stop can be deadly for dogs left behind in cars.

“When temperatures get into the 80s and above, it gets too hot for dogs to be left in cars,” Dr. Chad Moles, owner of Blue Sky Veterinary Clinic, said Friday.

“Even if the windows are cracked, the outside temperature can be 80 degrees, but the internal temperature of the car can be 110 to 120 degrees,” he added.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as temperatures soar, dogs can die from heat stroke in as little as 15 minutes. On a 90-degree day, the inside temperature a car can reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

“Dogs’ main way of cooling themselves is through their respiration, through their panting.” Moles said. “So leaving a dog in a hot car at that temperature (means) they can’t cool their bodies fast enough.”

So what should you do if you see a dog in a hot car?

“I wouldn’t have any problems breaking a window,” said one Bend resident.

Only three states have “Good Samaritan laws,” allowing anyone to break windows, and Oregon isn’t one of them But it does allow public servants including law enforcement and humane officers to do so to rescue an animal in distress.

“I would not break a window,” another Bend resident said. “I often call the non-emergency police line, and I’ve done that several times in the past.”

The Humane Society of the United States also recommends this method, along with taking down the car’s information and alerting surrounding businesses to help find the owner.

For more information, from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

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