Every year, dogs suffer nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage and even death from being left in a hot car. Many owners do not realize the dangers of leaving their dog in their vehicle while they run a “quick” errand. Some people believe that parking in the shade, or cracking a window will help keep the car cool, however, these actions do not prevent the temperature inside a parked car from rising. According to AVMA, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes and in 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F.

If you see a pet in a car on a warm day who you believe may be in trouble, try to locate the owner by writing down the license plate number, color, make and model of car and ask nearby businesses to page customers. If you believe the pet is in distress, call 911 and wait nearby until help arrives. Unless you can bring your dog inside the store where you are running errands, the best way to keep your pet safe is to leave them at home where they can stay cool or travel with another adult who can remain in the car with your pet while the air conditioner is running.