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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to figure out if we're just being over-protective Canadians or if this is a real concern so perhaps some of the vets on forum wouldn't mind jumping in. Regarding an incident of dogs left alone in a hot car this past Sunday.

It's been slightly cooler of late with temps in the 21-24C range during the daytime versus previous weeks where it was 24-30C.

Sunday morning, Murphy and I left house around 9:30ish to meet friends at park and it was about 15. Within 10 minutes or so, temps were warming and all of us were shedding clothes.

When we left the park around 10:45ish, we (friend & I and the two dogs), noticed a dog in a black car with windows cracked slightly. (Less than 1.5" when I measured when I got home.) As we got closer noticed it was actually two dogs and both dogs in back seat were panting noticeably. No visible water, although water bottles were laying in front of car. Car wasn't parked in the shade or anything. Based on sun position there was some slight shade on the driver's side of the car but not a lot.

We decided to wait around to see if people were coming back because we both thought there was a time limit for how long you could leave pets alone in cars. I figured they had quickly run somewhere for something and wanted to make sure dogs were okay.

Without going into all the minute by minute details, when no one showed up after 15 minutes, she called spca to find out who/what to do. They said call animal control. They were on another call at least 20-25 min away, said they'd have to call cops to get into vehicle so calling 911 would be a start. So we did.

From our point of view, the dogs were becoming distressed. Friend had run home to grab water so we were trying to get water on the dogs to cool them down. People walking pulled sticks from nearby tree and managed to trigger the car locks so we could get the dogs out of the car. At this point it was almost 40 min later and the cops showed up at around this time. They took control of the dogs and said they'd get them to animal control.

Turned out animal control didn't get there for another 15-20 minutes (almost 45 min after we called them) and took them to the shelter. People eventually showed up to claim the dogs and were more upset that someone went into the vehicle to get the dogs. (Police would have broken window if they also so dogs in distress). No fines or anything since the dogs were out of the vehicle.

For reference, car was parked about a block or so up and my guage said the temps outside were 23 by the time the dogs were out of the car.

Found out not illegal to leave dogs in vehicle in our area which was a surprise to me. However, vehicle must be in shade, water provided and adequate ventilation, none of which was present in this case.

They were from Arizona which I know gets hotter temps than we do here and said they regularly check on the dogs but they didn't during the hour or so this was going on.

We had an incident earlier when hotter summer started where 6 dogs died after being left alone in car for 45 minutes so perhaps where the concern came from.

I'm too afraid to have mine stolen so I've never left mine longer than a couple of minutes and I'm also in sight of the car and all the windows are rolled almost all the way down. Although haven't done that when it's been hot.

So did we over-react? How long is too long in a hot car? What would those of you hotter climes suggest? Appreciate any insight or advice. Thanks.
 
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You lost 99% of American members when you gave the temp in Celsius
23C is about 73 degrees
I think the warnings are for the idiot dog owners of the world.
I like to give the members of this forum credit as being a smarter group that those warnings are intended for and would have the common sense not to leave thier dog in a hot car for any length of time

Did you over react? It's borderline. The proof is the dogs were ok. But I don't like no one checked over an hour and the dogs had no water.
I the owners defense , 73 degrees is still cooler than it is in people's fridges in Arizona. (joke) Arizona gets really really hot for months at a time.
In the end I say you were right and they were wrong
 

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I can only speak for my geographical area, where we get intense radiant sun year round, which adds to increased temperature readings inside a car. It is also much more humid in my area as well, which adds to the equation of whether the dogs were in distress. Had that happened here, on a sunny day with humidity and little wind, it would not have been an over reaction. Had you called 911, police/fire would have responded quickly and most likely released the dogs. A few years ago a couple from a small town came to Dallas to watch a Mavs basketball game. They left their two dogs...in the trunk...on a 56 degree humid partly cloudy day, in a parking lot with no shade. Other people heard dogs barking, called 911 and DFD responded, broke car windows and rescued the dogs. Animal Control put them in the shelter and the owners were ticketed when they returned to their car. They were outraged, filed suit for the damage to their car-- but it went nowhere since authorities acted legally. There is no specific ordinance regarding this in my city; however, there are general animal cruelty laws that are used to justify actions in rescuing animals.
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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In my area, 73 degrees F would probably not be cause for alarm although it does sound like the windows should have been rolled down further and water should have been available.
 

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If the car had been parked in the shade and they'd had water water id probably have thought they'd be fine. But it's kind of hard to judge how dire the situation was without actually being there. 73 degrees here could mean I'm wearing pants and a sweatshirt if it's overcast. Still, an hour without checking on the dogs and it's warmer than 60, I would have been concerned too. The dogs were most likely very happy to get out of there either way.
 

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My state recently passed a law that allows people to break windows if a dog is in distress, during the summer months we have triple digit heat indexes here.

I wouldn't have hesitated to call Police or AC in this situation.

Here is a chart showing the car temperatures at various outside temps, this put was together by the Dept. of Geosciences at San Francisco State Univ.



Here's another one I found-all temps are in F

 

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I think you did exactly the right thing! 73 F doesn't sound that warm, but there are a lot of factors, including the humidity and length of time and circulation of air, along with availability of water.

I don't leave my dogs in the car unless it's under 70 degrees and I can find a fully shaded place to park, and then I put the windows down most of the way (mine are too chicken to jump out) and the car is where I can see it. I can't lock my car if it's running, so I can't leave them in it when it's warmer and just run the A/C. One of my biggest nightmares is if someone were to steal my car with the dogs in it and then desert it on the side of the road in the dead of summer, leaving them in it. I've read about that happening and of course the dog died.
 

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We had 73 F here last week and there was a dog inside a car at the super market car park. No shade anywhere unfortunately. I waited about 15 minutes and the dog was panting a lot so I went to the information desk in the supermarket and they read out a tannoy message with car make and number saying a dog was getting distressed. I waited another 15 minutes by the car and the people turned up. Very angry with me telling me to mind my own business. I told them what I felt of their attitude and to get the dog out of the car and give it some water (I had a bottle and bowl from my car). They calmed down after a bit and actually said thank you in the end. I have a sticker on my car reminding people not to leave a dog in the car in hot/warm weather.
 

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I personally don't think you overreacted. You felt the dogs were in danger and you reacted in an appropriate manner imo. Considering the amount of time that went by while you stuck around, the owners definitely need to be informed on what can happen when you leave a dog or dogs in a car under the beating sun.

They may have been mad, but it's far better to come back to that then two of their dogs dead from overheating in the back. I think you did a good deed and owners need to be aware at how quickly temperatures rise in the car in just a matter of minutes.
 

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I can only speak for my geographical area, where we get intense radiant sun year round, which adds to increased temperature readings inside a car. It is also much more humid in my area as well, which adds to the equation of whether the dogs were in distress. Had that happened here, on a sunny day with humidity and little wind, it would not have been an over reaction. Had you called 911, police/fire would have responded quickly and most likely released the dogs. A few years ago a couple from a small town came to Dallas to watch a Mavs basketball game. They left their two dogs...in the trunk...on a 56 degree humid partly cloudy day, in a parking lot with no shade. Other people heard dogs barking, called 911 and DFD responded, broke car windows and rescued the dogs. Animal Control put them in the shelter and the owners were ticketed when they returned to their car. They were outraged, filed suit for the damage to their car-- but it went nowhere since authorities acted legally. There is no specific ordinance regarding this in my city; however, there are general animal cruelty laws that are used to justify actions in rescuing animals.
Stupid people like this should NEVER have an animal, and I hope they were not allowed to take the dogs back
 

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Fact. I think you did the right thing.

I do think some people go overboard. I was in the truck with Scrappy with the truck on with A/C cranked, water dish on the floor and parked in the shade. Lady reamed me out for leaving my dog in the truck. Scrappy even looked confused so when she was out of earshot I told Scrappy to just ignore it as their is always going to be crazy people in this world in as pleasant a tone as possible to counteract her bad vibes. Lol. As a response he gave me his typical waggly tail and big grin.
 

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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Did some research and came across the study that Carolina Mom referenced. I didn't know how quickly temps can increase inside car even with windows open a crack.

Here's a video I had seen previously that I just watched again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbOcCQ-y3OY

The car's windows were cracked open half of what his front driver's window is.

I'd do the same thing again, faster though now that I know how to open locked cars using sticks. Better to have mad, idiot dog owners than dead dogs. I'm think I'm going to do up a brochure with those charts to hand out as I'm choosing to believe they are just ill informed.
 

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The worst example I've experienced with a dog in a car happened a few years ago on a 110 degree day in Dallas. It read higher on our car thermometer. We pulled into a Kroger with a blacktop surface, no shade and we saw a woman get out of her black car, windows up and a dog barking inside. No AC for the dog. The dog was ok at that point, but it was 110 outside! I followed her, told her she was endangering her dog by leaving it in a hot car like that, and told her she could leave immediately or I would go ahead and dial 911. She left. She didn't have a clue cars could overheat that fast.....it was 110 outside... Really??? My husband was with me and went to get the store manager just in case the lady refused to go back to her car, but she didn't argue with us. Hopefully she didn't go to Walmart down the street instead...
 

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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm within walking distances of most things so I often don't know the temp outside without the gauge on my car telling me, but I assume (probably incorrectly) that most people would figure, if it's something they would not enjoy, why make your pet suffer through it. Sadly we're being proven wrong often.
 

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My rule of thumb is to NEVER leave a dog in the car unattended. I didn't do it with **** and I won't do it with Deaglan. For those that leave the car running with the AC on are just fooling themselves. A small pinhole in the resonator or muffler can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
How many times has a K9 officer left their partner in the patrol car only to return to a fried dog. Fried from the inside.
The latest example:
Wyoming officer charged over death of police dog in hot car
Amazes me just how foolish a K9 police officer can be.
Besides leaving a dog unattended in a hot car there is always the chance someone would steal a dog.
Just not a chance I'm willing to take.
 

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I live in Michigan, and when it's over 70 degrees I won't leave my dogs in the car at all. Under that temperature it depends if there is shade. I never leave them for more than 5-10 minutes unless it's quite cool out, and always with windows partially down and water in the car.
 

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I don't think you overreacted. It was hotter in the car than the temp outside, and they were gone quite some time. It sounds like you thought things through.

I work in a hospital. I went out to my car at lunch the other day, right around noon, and as I was walking back in, I walked by a convertible with the top down. There was a rat terrier in the floorboard, panting very hard. The temperature was 96 degrees, heat index was 115 degrees. The people were parked in a handicap parking spot without a handicap sticker or plates - I won't get started on that. There was no shade, the sun was shining into the floorboard of the car. No water in sight...

I went in and told security, and they paged the owner immediately. The owner was there visiting a patient, and they were told that the ASPCA would be called if they did not get the dog out of the heat. Of course, their argument was that the top was down on the car. When they kept arguing with the security guard, he asked them where their handicap parking permit was, and all of a sudden they were ready to leave!
 

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You did the right thing.
 
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Murphy's Human, Kam
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A police dog is not allowed in a police station? What's wrong with that picture. Talk about crazy rules.
 
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