Imagine this scenario: You’re walking down the street on a hot summer day, and you see a dog locked in a hot car. How you can tell if they might be in distress? What can you do to help? Summer temperatures can skyrocket leaving dogs susceptible to irreparable organ damage or even death. Read on for tips on rescuing a dog in distress.
Reach Out For Help
A dog left in a hot car can suffer from organ failure or death in as little as 15 minutes. Without knowing how long the dog has been left in the car, you’ll need to take quick action. Before putting on your super hero cape, reach out to animal control and law enforcement. If there are nearby shops or restaurants, have them make an announcement asking if anyone has left their dog inside a car. Many dog owners are simply unaware of how hot it gets and that announcement may get them quickly outside. Stay with the car until help arrives.
Did you know that only 28 states have laws prohibiting dogs being left in hot cars? Of those states, only 11 have granted legal authority to Good Samaritans to use any means necessary to save an overheated dog. If you have made every attempt possible to find the dog’s owner and the authorities can’t arrive fast enough to intervene, use your best judgment about saving Fido. The next steps might be actually breaking a window. Many people view saving a dog’s life as a moral obligation, even if they have to break the law to do so. You may want to find a witness who will back up your judgement just in case.
Post Rescue Treatment
Once the dog has been rescued, they need to have their body temperature lowered quickly and safely. First, get the dog into an air-conditioned building or vehicle. Call the closest emergency vet to let them know you’re en route, and provide cool water to drink. If you have enough water, pouring it over the dog can help too – as long as it’s not ice cold. You may also place the dog in front of an electric fan and place cool, wet towels on the dog’s stomach and chest. The sooner you can cool the dog down and get him to an emergency vet, the better their prognosis will be. Hopefully, you’ll never have to step in rescue a dog in distress but if you do, we thank you!