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A Courageous Vet Sits in a Hot Parked Car for 30 Minutes to Illustrate the Danger to Dogs

Ernie Ward broils the dog-safety theory that cracked windows keep a car cool. See the video.

 |  Jul 3rd 2013  |   10 Contributions


On June 29, a woman was arrested after her dog died in her hot car in Pleasant Hill, California. Outside temperatures were more that 100 degrees. Police broke into the car and took the dog to the vet, but they were too late. 

A day later, police rescued a cat and dog from a hot car in St. Helena, California, as the owner was off wine tasting. It was 94 degrees "in the shade," said St. Helena Sgt. Scott Fleming. “On concrete, in a car half in the sun, it was much hotter than that. It was an oven in there.”

A day later, police charged a New Hampshire woman with cruelty to animals after allegedly finding her dog in a hot car in the Short Sands Beach parking lot in Maine. The dog was "panting and looking distressed." The owner arrived and was "rude," and said she didn't leave water in the car because the dog spills it. 

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Dr. Ernie Ward filmed himself for 30 minutes, talking about how he felt in the car.

These are just three stories from the past couple of days, but there are countless others. Really, you can choose any day this summer and find the same thing. June 26? Police respond to a dog in a hot car in Billerica, Massachusetts. June 27? Dog freed from hot car in Riverside, California. Also that day: Dog unable to stand after being left in hot car in Ottawa, Canada. For a few days at the end of June, humane society officers in Kitchener, Canada, responded to at least 25 different calls about animals in vehicles.

"This week has been particularly bad," said Malcolm Armstrong, animal protection coordinator with the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. "I would definitely say it's higher than normal."

"It's getting difficult to believe that people just don't know." 

What is it that certain people don't understand about dogs in hot cars? For some reason, they can't grasp just how hot it can get in a car with the windows merely cracked. Veterinarian Ernie Ward decided to do something about that. 

He got in a hot car and cracked all four windows a couple of inches. And he sat there. 

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Though this video is a year old, it is a great reminder on how quickly it can get hot in a car -- especially considering it's already a hot summer and people continue to be stupid.

Just a few minutes in, and the doctor is drenched. 

At five minutes in, the car is at 100 degrees. 

At 10 minutes in, it is "almost unbearable" at 106 degrees. 

At 25 minutes in: "Everything in my body is saying, get out get out get out."

At 30 minutes and 117 degress, the doctor feels for the dogs:

"I can't imagine how helpless and frightening it would be for a dog to be left in a car, not knowing when you're going to come, and slowly and surely having the energy and the life just burnt out of them by the heat."

Watch the video. You'll never take a chance with your dog in a hot car again -- and you just might be the one to intervene when someone else does. 

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