Dog’s death raises concerns about keeping pets in hot cars

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – In the dog days of summer, parked cars can quickly become a death trap for your pet.

Every year, hundreds of dogs die after being left in hot cars. Just this week, a dog died in Boston after being left in a hot truck for over 2-hours, on an 80-degree day.

On a 78 degree day, the temperature inside of a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just a matter of minutes.

Nancy Owen of the North King Animal Clinic told 22News that if a dog is stuck inside of a hot car, it can cause heat stroke, brain damage, and even death. “Dogs don’t cool their bodies as efficiently as we do. There’s a cascade of events where the body’s trying to protect itself from the overheating, but it can actually lead to generalized organ failure,” she said.

It’s illegal in Massachusetts to leave your dog inside of a car in extreme hot or cold temperatures. A dog owner could face a $150 to $500 fine, and be charged with animal cruelty for the crime.

Cars are not the only environment dog owners need to worry about.

Playing outside in the heat can also be dangerous for your dog, which is why knowing the warning signs your dog is too hot can be critical. Those signs can include breathing hard, being unconscious, or not moving.

New law restricts tethering of dogs outside

No matter the season, new laws make it illegal in Massachusetts to leave your dog unattended and tethered outside for more than five hours at a time. During a weather advisory or warning, dogs cannot be tied out and left unattended at all. If you would like to read more about the law concerning tethering a dog, click here.