The Associated Press recently reported on an incredible story about a dog who took matters into his own paws. Max, an 11-year-old chocolate Lab, was accidentally left in the car after running some errands with his owner on a 90 degree day in Pennsylvania. Max honked the horn multiple times until his owner finally realized he had been left in the car. Max was immediately given water and rushed to the vet, where he fully recovered from the ordeal.
Unfortunately, many stories about dogs being left in cars don’t have happy endings. Max was a lucky pooch because it only takes a few minutes for an animal to collapse of heatstroke in an enclosed vehicle. According to PETA, a car can exceed 160 degrees in just minutes on a 78 degree day. Much of the time, parking in the shade or cracking a window slightly is not enough. Heatstroke is very dangerous and can cause irreversible brain damage and death. To avoid this tragedy, it’s best to leave pets at home on warm days.
If you see an animal in distress in a parking lot, have the owner paged inside the store. If there is not a prompt response, call the police because they can unlock a car door. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy panting, glazed eyes, dizziness, lack of coordination and vomiting.