Recently, campers at the NHES Cool to Care Camp made dog biscuits and then baked them in a car. The temperature in the car stayed between 125 and 180 degrees all day. After a few hours, the biscuits were done. If we can bake biscuits in a car, think what can happen to a companion animal closed up in a hot car—or a child.
Too often we read about the tragic results of a dog or a child being left in a car. Maybe the owner “cracked the windows” a bit. Even with the windows open, and even if the outside temperature doesn’t seem that hot, heat builds up inside the car and can become intense.
The dog or child can’t process the heat. Eventually, the dog or child becomes disoriented, may vomit, has difficulty breathing, can collapse, go into a coma, and die if intervention comes too late.
So, why do people leave dogs and children to bake in hot cars? Are they ignorant of the consequences, are they negligent, are they too preoccupied with what’s going on inside their heads to remember what’s inside their cars?
While the person leaving the dog or the child in a hot car is certainly to blame for whatever happens, all of us should be on the look out as we walk through parking lots or past parked cars on the street. If we see a child or a dog inside, act. Note the description of the car and the license plate, then go into the closest store to see if the manager can page the owner. Call the police or animal control. Enlist the help of others to go into stores or contact authorities. Once one person gets involved and starts asking others to help, a chain reaction may follow. But someone has to start it. Let it be you. Because when you think about…no one should bake in a hot car.