Animals in Hot Cars

A summer doesn’t go by without news of a child or dog dying in a hot car.  People do not seem to comprehend how quickly a vehicle can heat up.  It is tragic t loose an animal in this fashion.  For that reason, animal control organizations need to have policies in place to make sure that animal control officers are not guilty of committing the same acts, especially if those officers are using unairconditioned animal control boxes on their vehicles.

In creating a policy, the organization must determine the ambient temperature that will trigger the policy; eighty to ninety degrees seems to be a good temperature range to work with.  When the temperature reaches that threshold temperature, the policy is triggered that sets the maximum time that an animal may be in the vehicle; 60 minutes is a good length of time, providing that the carrier box pushes air through each kennel.

If an animal seems hot during pickup, that holding time should be reduced to 30 minutes and the animal should be given water and wetted down prior to transportation.  Animal Control Officers need to be smart enough to park in shaded area and to constantly check on the animals onboard the vehicle.  Frequent stops at gas stations might be necessary to keep the animals hosed down and kept cool.

There is no excuse for an animal control officer leaving an animal onboard his/her vehicle for extending period of time in the summer; but, every year we hear about an officer forgetting about an animal that is left on the vehicle over night.  Officers need to get into the routine of checking their vehicle at the end of their shift and cleaning the vehicle for use the next day.  One stupid mistake can bring to an end of your animal control career.

Keeping animals safe in the summer is a matter of common sense.