Blog The Change: Help Pets in Cars

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Blog the ChangeI was reading DrV’s post on pawcurious today and realized it is once again Blog the Change day. She writes about fire safety for animals; a great read. The Blog the Change site was born in part through DrV and her co-panelists at the April 2010 Blogpaws event during their “Be The Change” session. The Blog The Change event is held 4 times a year for people to blog about their favorite cause, inspiring others and ultimately helping animals.

From the Blog the Change web site:

“Blog the Change takes place on the 15th of January, April, July and October annually.  Have a blog?  Write about a cause near and dear to your heart. Inspire your audience to get involved!”

My cause: help pets in hot cars
Pets die every day after being left in the car “for just a few minutes” or in some cases, accidentally forgotten in the car. It is a rare dog that can honk the horn to save himself. Even days that are not that hot out can heat up a car in minutes. Add to that your dog’s excitement, barking and activity, and heatstroke and death aren’t far away.

Heatstroke is not pretty. In this video, ABC News was at a Philadelphia veterinary hospital as the veterinary team worked hard to save a dog suffering from heatstroke. If you can get the pet through the initial crisis, that is step one. Next, it is important to monitor closely for organ failure over the next several days.

This is from my About.com site and illustrates how horrible it is to watch a pet die in a hot car.

(This took place in the Detroit, MI area…not a particularly hot day, maybe 70 degrees. The black Mercedes sedan was parked in full-sun, with one window cracked about an inch.) About 15 years ago, I saw a German Shepherd locked in a car…he was in obvious distress, he was vomiting, frothy drool from his mouth, visibly wet from sweating. I went into the store where the vehicle was parked, asked them to page whomever owned the vehicle; no response. The store owner called the police, who came…smashed the car window but, sadly, it was too late…the dog had passed away in the few moments it took for me to get help. To this day, I regret my decision to try and find the owner…wishing I’d smashed the window myself! When the owner returned from an adjacent shopping center, she was furious at the police for breaking her window…! I will never forget this…

—Reenthequeen | Read more entries

It’s not always easy
I have taken some flak for urging people to be an advocate for pets in hot cars. People say “mind your own business” and that it was only “for a few minutes” anyway. There have been many, many studies proving that it only takes a few minutes to heat up a car to 120F and higher. I would love to see these people in their car on a warm day (I would crack the windows open a little) while I left “for a few minutes.”

Help is here
One of my favorite sites of all time is My Dog Is Cool and they provide free flyers that you can print out and leave on cars. BUT if it is a hot day with animals inside the car, I would recommend calling your local animal authorities or police first. I was pleased to see that in my community this year, the animal control organizations posted notices in the paper saying that they are on patrol for animals left in cars, and to please call them. I have programmed their number in my cell phone. It is important to also note the type of car and license plate, too.

Please share: What do YOU do to help pets in cars?

Related:
Be The Change … it isn’t just one day

new post on about.com:
Danger Zone: Pets Left in Hot Cars