What to Do if You See a Dog Trapped in a Hot Car

by VetDepot on July 30, 2014

dog hot car blogYou’ve probably heard by now that leaving a dog (or any animal) in a car on warm day can quickly turn tragic. The temperature inside a parked car can soar above 100 degrees in just minutes on an 80 degree day. So, what do you do if you see a dog trapped inside a hot car?

1.) Take down important information: Quickly jot down the make of the car and the license plate number.

2.) Check with nearby businesses: Notify the managers of nearby stores and restaurants to make an announcement to find the car’s owner.

3.) Call for help: If the car’s owner can’t immediately be located, call for help. Local officials have the ability to enter the vehicle to rescue an animal, so immediately call animal control or the police for assistance.

Education is the best defense, so remember to spread the word about warm weather safety for pets to fellow owners.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Miro July 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

What do you do if you see a dog or child trapped inside a hot car? – Always call 911, and if a decision to break a window is made, make sure it is the one furthest away from the child or animal.

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Anita August 5, 2014 at 5:38 am

Get all info and let managers of business know and then call 911. If it looks like animal/child is really in bad trouble, break a glass. The one furthest away from them.

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kiki maguire August 5, 2014 at 6:11 am

Step 2 should be completely eliminated….searching for the irresponsible owner is a ridiculous waste of precious time. Also, that would allow the owner to simply drive away with the animal. Immediately call 911. Authorities will remove the animal from the car and should NOT return it to the owner. The owner should then be charged with cruelty to animals.

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Pam Morales August 5, 2014 at 9:08 am

I agree with Kiki. Searching for the owner is a waste of time and the owner should be prosecuted!

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Lisa Johnson August 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

So many times I have had to confront this because I live in Florida. The owners of the pets are always (1) Nasty & beligerent and don’t care and/or (2) Completely combative because they are literally off their rockers. I almost got into an altercation once with one because I went into the lobby and asked who’s dog it was. The guy got into my face and was giving me crap. Fortunately, there was a Security Guard there who was about 6’5″ and got between us, or this guy could have hurt me. He didn’t give a hoot about his dog being hot and the Guard said because the window was open, there was nothing they could do. It all depends on whether you get a sympathetic Law Enforcement officer. It’s a hard call. I’ve never had a good result because the idiots who do this don’t give damn anyway.

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Pam Green August 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm

If car is obviously at one business (eg at our public library), I would go inside and ask for car owner to be paged. but if multiple businesses, it would waste time. call 911 right away. wait where you can see car but not right next to it. ask 911 how fast they expect to get there and tell them if dog already in distress. if they can’t get there soon enough, then yes you have to break window. on some cars you may be able to snake a coat hanger wire inside window and pull the lock button up, open door, remove dog. have something to use as leash so dog doesn’t run off.
note : if the parking area is near a vet office, go directly into vet office and ask them to come help and to phone 911 for you. that’s probably going to get better police response than you making the call.

and remind police that anyone dumb enough to leave a dog in closed car is likely to do same with their child. so they need to ticket this driver and make a strong lesson.

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