It only takes 6 Minutes

Most people know that dogs die when left in hot cars, but many people don’t know how this happens, or even worse…how frequently and close to home.

Two summers ago, a dog died inside a hot car parked in front of the Vacaville Outlets with the windows rolled down. According to animal control officers, they said the dog’s owner returned to the car after shopping to find the French bulldog, Jill, unresponsive.

Police say no animal should be left unattended in a car for any amount of time, regardless of outside temperature or if water is provided.

Did you know?

Hundreds of pets die each year from being left in a hot car. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting. Because cars heat up extremely quickly, never leave your pet in the car – not even for a quick errand.

Here are the signs of a dog that has heatstroke or is in distress

  • Heavy panting
  • Dribbling
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • The dog appearing drowsy
  • Collapse

How you can save lives

If you see a dog inside a hot car, call your local police department.

There’s a California law that states if you’re concerned for a vehicle-bound animal’s safety and can’t find its owner, you’re legally allowed to break into the car to rescue the dog — but only if you call authorities first. You would be expected to wait with the dog until an authority (animal control, fire department, law enforcement or 911 emergency service) arrives at the scene, Los Angeles Times.

Local police department numbers to save in your phone

Vacaville Police Department (707) 449-5200
Fairfield Police Department (707) 428-7300
Suisun Police Department (707) 421-7373
Dixon Police Department (707) 678-7070

5 Alternatives to leaving your dog in the car

  • Use a drive-thru for errands when available
  • Bring a friend who can play with your dog outside while you run your errand
  • Shop at pet-friendly stores where your dog is welcome to browse with you
  • Eat at an outdoor café where your dog can sit with you
  • Leave your dog at home where it’s cool and safe

Hot Car Temperature Converter

Take the #PawshPledge to never leave your dog unattended