"Hot car" dog fatalities are needless and all-too-common. What many people don't know is that even on moderately cool days, the temperature inside a car can be fatal. Even when its only 70 degrees outside, in just one hour, the temperature inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees. While humans cool themselves by relying on an extensive system of sweat glands and evaporation, the cooling mechanisms of dogs and other animals are much less efficient and leave them extremely vulnerable to heatstroke. If you happen to encounter a dog left in a car this summer, take down the car's license plate number, make, model and color. If you are in front of a store, ask the management to page the car owner or call local humane authorities or police. Make sure to keep an eye on the dog. Take the pledge to protect dogs from the summer heat!
Other things you can do to help:
-Discover which state laws and city/county ordinances in your area address leaving animals unattended in vehicles. This issue may be addressed specifically or by way of general abuse/neglect statutes. Find your state's current animal protection laws here: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=259 (doing a word search for "vehicle" is helpful)
-Contact your local humane agencies to make the public aware of these laws by distributing flyers, asking your local newspapers to do a story on the problem, and encouraging your Department of Motor Vehicles to educate drivers on the issue of children and animals left unattended in vehicles.
-Where necessary, approach your legislators toward specifically addressing the "hot car" problem and enabling emergency rescues. Find your local legislators: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/?lvl=L