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Dog’s death again points to dangers of leaving pets in overheated vehicles

By Staff | Aug 3, 2010

The death of a small poodle in an overheated vehicle on Monday has prompted Lee County Animal Services to warn all pet owners that leaving animals in cars for even a short amount of time can be hazardous to their health.
The dog was discovered in an unattended car at HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers.
The dog had been reportedly left in the car for more than two hours, and posted a temperature of more than 115 degrees, though LCAS spokeswoman RIa Brown speculated the animal’s temperature was higher.
“Our officer took the dog’s temperature and it registered at 115, but the thermometer only goes to 115 degrees, so it could have been well above that,” Brown said. “It’s a horrible way to die.”
The dog was left in the car while its owner visited a sick relative at the medical facility.
Visiting from Tallahassee, the owners were cited for animal cruelty with a mandatory court appearance, and admitted leaving the dog in the car for over two hours.
With temperatures in the middle 90s, Ria Brown said it only takes a matter of minutes for the dog to find themselves in a medical emergency, as temperatures inside the car can quickly rise to over 160 degrees.
“It defies all common logic,” Brown added.
Cracking a window does not allow the inside of the the car to cool efficiently, Brown said.
The only deterrent is to not put the animal in that situation, by leaving them at home or in the care of someone else.
Brown advised that if people come across a dog or animal in a parked car, they should quickly alert authorities, check the nearest store or simply try the car’s doors to see if they’re unlocked.
In the case of the poodle, the back door of the car was unlocked the entire time.
“Don’t wait for someone else to do something,” Brown said. “Time is of the essence.”
If you come across an animal trapped in a vehicle, call 911 or Lee County Animal Services at LEE-PETS.