Porky & Buddy Pet Health – Is It OK To Leave A Dog In A Car?

Dear Porky & Buddy,
During those really hot days last week, I was in the Penney’s parking lot in Oswego and I saw a dog left in a car in the lot. The windows were cracked, but I was very worried, so I stood there and waited for the owner to come back, which he eventually did, but when I pointed out to him that he really can’t leave his dog in the car on a day like that he told me it was OK because the windows were open and to mind my own business.

I have left out some of what he said because this is a family column but he was very rude.  Did I do the right thing?  Is leaving the window open a crack sufficient as this guy seemed to think?

Dear Bernie,
We gladly answer questions like this every summer, because, quite frankly, every summer dogs die in cars, and we are very, very, very tired of it.

Yes, yes, yes, you did the right thing.  No, no, no leaving the window open a crack is no help.

In that kind of heat, numerous studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked car, even in the shade, even with the windows cracked, can easily rise 20 degrees or more in just ten minutes.

So now we are talking 110 degrees inside your car.  In that kind of heat, dogs, like any other mammal, can suffer heat stroke and die, or be permanently injured. Do you think Mr. Rude would sit inside the car at that temperature?

Actually, cars in the sun heat up very quickly even in more moderate heat and can get to over 100 degrees from an outside temperature in the 70s in less than an hour.

And of course, dogs don’t know how to open the door, so he was basically leaving his dog in an oven.

The only thing you didn’t do that you could have would be to call 911.

Confining a companion animal in a car in extreme heat without proper ventilation can be a criminal violation under §353-d of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law when it places the animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury.

Cracking a window does not constitute proper ventilation.

The statute authorizes law enforcement to take necessary steps to remove the animal from the vehicle, such as breaking a window, (which we would love to see), and it subjects the owner to a fine.

So next time feel free to call the police, remember they are mostly dog lovers too.

And don’t feel bad for a minute about being a busybody. We need more busybodies on this issue.

On a happier note, now that warm weather is actually here and there does not appear to be any more threat of snow, maybe it’s time to get ready for summer days with a new pet!

You can do that at the “People & Pets Are Good for Each Other” Adoption Day on June 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tractor Supply Company at 104 East, Oswego.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org