Record Heat: Dogs Pay with Their Lives


Dogs have paid a price with their lives for record heat throughout much of the U.S.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) tracks dogs who die in hot cars. This years, so far, 47 dogs have died, approaching the total of 56 who succumbed in 2022 and 59 who expired in 2021. (Note, the real number is likely higher as no one knows how many animals die without being reported).

So hot does it get?

According to an Arizona State University study even in the shade, if it’s 100 degrees outside, the car will warm up to well over that inside. That’s hardly a surprise. A human child might survive for a time, but dogs don’t do as well in heat as humans – even human babies – and can more quickly suffer heat stroke and die.

On a 75-degree day, the inside of a parked car can climb to 110 degrees in minutes. In 20 minutes on a 90-degree day, the same car can get up to 130 degrees inside!  There’s all sorts of data out there, varring perhaps by five to 10 degrees – but the point is the same. Fact is, dogs die left in hot cars – even for a short time may suffer heat stroke.

Some don’t believe that happens as often as it does, or that cars get as hot as they do. So, a few years ago, I chose to find out for myself just how hot a car can get and you can see the results:

Presumably, no one wants to kill their dog by running errands, yet it happens over and over again.