The United Animal Nations has launched a new campaign aimed at informing dog owners about the dangers of leaving their dog in a closed car during the hot summer months. The campaign, entitled “My Dog is Cool”, is the first campaign of its kind to solely focus on preventing the deaths of dogs who have been locked inside a hot car.
The campaign states that the “dog days” of summer can be quite hazardous to the health of an otherwise healthy dog, especially when you consider that thousands of dogs die each year after being locked inside a hot car whilst their owner is busy shopping, visiting friends, running an errand or even working.
Although this type of death is probably one of the worst types of death that any dog can suffer, the good news is that it is entirely preventable, and the United Animal Nations hopes to spread the word about how to prevent such a death through their “My Dog is Cool” campaign.
The United Animal Nations is a national non-profit animal protection group that was founded in 1987. Their focus is on ‘bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education’.
The “My Dog is Cool” campaign has been specifically designed to do the following:
* Use of their ‘Don’t Leave Me in Here – It’s Hot!’ fliers, posters, and other educational materials that can be distributed to individuals and communities in an effort to educate them about how dangerous it really is to leave a dog alone in a hot car during the hot summer months.
* Inform and educate city officials, police, emergency workers, the media and even the general public on what to do to avoid dogs from dying inside a hot car.
* Use of their “A hot oven or a hot car” poster and their “Hot Temperature” warning sign, to caution other people about not leaving their dogs in parked cars on hot summer days.
President and CEO of the United Animal Nations, Nicole Forsyth, said:
“People mean well by taking their dogs or other animals along with them while they work, visit, shop or run errands, but warm weather can turn a car into a death trap.”
However, a test that was conducted at Stanford University, determined that when the outside temperature is 72 degrees, the inside temperature of a car can increase to 116 degrees within the hour, regardless of whether the windows are cracked or not.
The test also revealed that when the outside temperature is 85 degrees, the inside temperature of a car can climb to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes and to 120 degrees in 30 minutes.
However, dogs are only able to endure a high body temperature for a relatively short period of time before they start to suffer from nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage and eventually, death.
To help spread the word about the campaign even further, the United Animal Nations has launched a website with the same name.
Their hope is that the website will be a friendly resource for other pet owners and animal lovers to be encouraged and empowered to inform other pet owners about the dangers of leaving their dogs, and other pets, in a hot car even for “just a few minutes.”
Such resources even include fliers and posters such as “A Hot Oven or a Hot Car… It’s the Same Thing” poster that can be hung up inside gas stations, libraries and other places.
Concerned dog owners and other animal lovers can also print out, or purchase, from the website an “It’s hot!” flier that they can easily leave on the windshield of a hot car that has an unattended dog inside it.
Another, cool, feature of the website is that it contains a weather forecasting tool which enables dog owners to input their zip code in order to see if it is too hot for the dogs to travel around with in the car.
The website also has an archive of news and police reports concerning the deaths of dogs that have been locked inside a hot car and the punishment received by their uncaring owners.
One of the more recent reports dated 28 June, 2009, is of the death of a one year old Black Labrador Retriever who was left inside a hot car with none of the windows open outside the Spokane Valley Mall in Washington. The owner, Charles M. Eschenbacher, 31, was booked into the Spokane County Jail and was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail. He was also charged with felony animal cruelty and a misdemeanor linked to ‘confining or transporting an animal unsafely’.
Photo Credit: Just chaos