Target: John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Goal: Urge passage of a federal law banning owners from leaving animals unattended in parked cars during warm months
When the warm weather comes it is far too common to see owners leaving their dogs in cars as they run errands. Despite the fact that the practice seems socially acceptable, dog fatalities are increasing due to overheating in vehicles.
Unlike humans dogs do not have an extensive sweat gland system, which leaves them far more susceptible to heatstroke. When cars are left in the sun the temperature of the heated air trapped inside skyrockets, creating ideal conditions for heatstroke. Contrary to popular belief, “cracking the car window” is not enough to keep pets safe. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), “On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, interior temperatures can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.”
Spreading awareness helps, but it is not enough to prevent dog owners from thinking their dogs will be okay if they leave them unattended in the car for a few minutes. Leaving a dog alone in a car during the spring and summer months should be outlawed, as the practice promotes animal cruelty. PETA reminds pet owners that heatstroke is not instantaneous and a suffering animal would most likely endure “excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lack of coordination, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and loss of consciousness.”
Neglect is a form of animal cruelty. It is time to demand that dog owners take responsibility for their canine companions. Urge Speaker of the House John Boehner and the US House of Representatives to pass a law banning owners from leaving unattended animals in vehicles during warm weather.
Dear Speaker Boehner,
Imagine being locked inside of a hot, small car for an unspecified amount of time, suffering the brutal temperatures of the sun increasing by the second. It is a circumstance not so foreign to dogs all across the United States left unattended in cars during the warm months.
A dog from Cary, North Carolina recently made headlines when it died of heatstroke after being left in a car for 30 minutes. Contrary to popular belief simply cracking a car window does not decrease the likelihood of heatstroke. Dogs do not have the intricate sweat gland system that humans do, so when the air trapped inside a car heats up they are left vulnerable to heatstroke. Dogs do not have a say in changing law, either, therefore in an effort to put an end to heat-related dog fatalities I call on you to urge passage of a federal law banning owners from leaving their unattended dogs in cars during warm months. In doing so thousands of dogs may be spared the neglect and suffering of slow, painful deaths by heatstroke.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karen Arnold via Public Domain Pictures