Someone Left a Dog in That Car! What Do I Do?!?!
Hey, we educated pet lovers have heard it often enough. Even on a beautiful spring day, a closed car can simulate an oven. If you want hard numbers, here is a YouTube from a vet from the UK who shows us how in 20 minutes the interior of his car became hotter than the highest temperature ever recorded in Death Valley (which happens to be 117 degrees Fahrenheit.) He talks about protein breakdown at temperatures we call over 100 degrees and points out that he's wearing lightweight cotton scrubs and "dying" in the hot car. A dog is wearing a fur coat.
For those who are mathematically inclined, we prepared a short table at the end of this blog showing how quickly temperatures in a car rise. The point of which is that if you SEE something DO something, not just say something.
Unfortunately, there are only eight states with Good Samaritan Laws that allow you to break a window in case you see a dog (or other animal or child) in a hot car. New York is not one of them. You may want to put pressure on your legislators but that's long term. If there is a critter in a steam bath, you have to act now.
And as you see from the table at the end of this blog, you don't have much time.
Fortunately, the NYPD partnered with the ASPCA in 2014 so if you don't know the number of your local precinct, phone 911 and ask to be connected. This is an emergency! The NYPD doesn't fool around when animal cruelty is involved because, frankly, most of the officers are animal lovers and they have the full power of the law behind them. So when the officers arrive, there will be fireworks. Here is an incident last summer in Queens, 4 dogs in a hot car. NYPD slapped charges of animal cruelty on the owner and took his dogs away from him. No foolin' around when the police get involved.
But what if the dog or dogs don't look like they will last until the squad car arrives? Share that with the dispatcher and ask if you can text a picture or a video or even Face Time to a cell phone. Ask how close the squad car is. And if you feel the dogs won't last until the officers arrive tell the dispatcher you are about to break a window to let in air and do so. Did I just suggest that? Well, if it's a choice between watching a dog die or the slight - very slight - possibility of getting in trouble with the law, I know which I would pick.
So, did you watch that video from the UK? Here's the chart we made. Not much time to rescue those pups, even on a balmy spring day.