What Should You Do if a Parked Car Has a Pet Inside
With temperatures skyrocketing, it is crucial to keep a vigilant eye out whenever you are in a parking lot. Whether purposefully or because of ignorance, people leave pets in cars nearly every day. If you do come across the unfortunate event where someone has left a dog in a vehicle, then follow the steps below.How to Handle the Situation
The following steps should be carried out quickly, and it is important to remain as calm as possible during the stressful situation:
- Write down the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle.
- If there are stores/businesses/buildings nearby, notify staff or security personnel of the situation so that they can make an announcement. Some people are simply unaware of the danger that temperatures inside a car can present, and will rush out to open the vehicle.
- If the pet’s owners do not present themselves, call the non-emergency number of the local police department. In some areas, there are state laws that protect good samaritans, and the operator should be able to inform you in case you need to take action yourself.
The best way to avoid dangerous situations and keep pets safe is to inform yourself and others about the hazards of leaving your dog in the car. A common misconception is that rolling the windows down will prevent rising temperatures, but this has proven to be ineffective as temperatures can jump as much as 20 degrees in a matter of minutes. Even on slightly cooler days just in the 70s, internal temperatures can reach as high as 116 degrees within an hour.
It is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding good samaritan acts and whether you could be held liable for your actions. If your area does not currently have such laws in place, then reach out to your local representatives to get the ball rolling. You can also ask store managers and local business leaders to place signs in their parking lots warning people to not leave animals in their vehicles.