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Pets in hot cars - can someone tell me why is this still an issue in our society?

It’s summertime!  News stories and Facebook feeds are full of weather related articles, posts, and shares.  It’s HOT, but it’s really not news… It was hot last summer, and the summer before, and we know it’s going to be hot again next year…  

Yes, we all know that a story needs to be either educational or sensational to make it to the headlines.  Some stories are cyclical and tend to repeat every year.  One of the topics that fires me up the most is people leaving kids and pets in hot cars.  

Has anyone spent a summer without seeing at least one article on this topic?  I surely haven’t.  I can’t believe that we still deal with this issue.  Everywhere I look I see people holding cell phones.  People are on social media, reading news, playing games, looking at videos of cute cats and dogs….

When temperatures rise, we begin to see all kinds of warnings from SPCA or other pet related organizations about pets in hot cars.  These warnings give us breakdowns on what temperatures feel like, they show us pictures of dogs in cars, they do everything they possibly can to increase this awareness.   

I am happy to see that more and more states make it legal to rescue pets from hot cars, even if the property gets damaged in the process.  There are 16 states that make it illegal for pet owners to leave pets in their cars. I would like to see the rest of the states to be added to this list….

What I’d like to suggest is in addition to spreading this awareness, we should also continue working towards making it illegal in all states.  Also, we should attach a very negative stigma to this irresponsible behavior, similar to what the dentist who killed the lion got on social media.  If we can get furious about African animals getting killed, we surely can get angry when our pets are dying this slow, agonizing but totally preventable death….  Of course, I’m not supporting irrational behavior and death threats, but some serious Facebook shaming would probably do the trick… Let’s eliminate this problem once and for all.

August 8, 2015
Olga Wharton

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