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Protect Your Pets in the Heat

June 6, 2017

We all love our pets. They’re our family, our companions, and always there for us.

So as temperatures rise, let’s keep them safe and make sure they avoid overheating.

Governor Deal has officially recognized June as Pet Safety in Hot Weather Awareness Month in Georgia.
 

Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car

You want to take your pet everywhere with you. Running to the store? Making a quick stop before going home? Stopping for dinner on the way to the beach house? Fido can just wait in the car for a bit, right?

Wrong.

Every summer, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and First Lady Sandra Deal remind us to “Look Again” to make sure we don’t leave our children in cars alone.

In just 10 minutes, a comfortable 80°F outside becomes a dangerous 99°F in a car. And we all know that Georgia summer temperatures rise well above 80°F.

If you leave your vehicle for longer than 10 minutes — because a quick trip to the market is never as quick as we expect — even on cooler days, in-vehicle temperatures can rise well over 100°F!

These high temperatures can cause irreversible organ damage or death — both for children and our furry (or scaly or feathered) friends.

Planning to crack your windows? Doesn’t help.

Leave on the air conditioning? That’ll never stay on. You know your pet pushes every button he’s not supposed to push … not to mention, it’s probably not safe to leave the keys in your car when you’re not there.

Georgia’s Animals Need You

Despite law enforcement officers’ best efforts to protect our animals, thousands of pets left in hot vehicles succumb to heatstroke every year.

What can you do to save Georgia’s pets?

Plan ahead. If you’re going somewhere with your pet, make sure that they can come with you every time you leave the car. Need to make a quick stop at the store? Maybe that stop can wait until you’ve dropped your pet off at home. Going on a road trip? Get your meals in the drive-thru line. And put your pet’s interests first when deciding whether or not they should even go with you on a trip.

Spread the news. If you’re with a friend who doesn’t know the dangers of leaving their pet in the vehicle, speak up. Print out a Hot Car flyer from The Humane Society (PDF, 781 KB) to post in public places or handout to your fellow pet-owners.

And if you see an animal suffering in a hot vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact your local sheriff's department or law enforcement agency. You might want to write down the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number like you would if you saw a child in danger. And if you’re at a store, ask the store manager or security guard to make an announcement.

Our animals are an important part of our lives. Make sure they stay safe all year long.

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Rachel Hart

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Experience Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On Georgia.gov, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery.

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