This year, pets in Pennsylvania received a gift from Governor Tom Wolf when he signed in another law protecting animals from the dangers of being left in a car. According to abc27.com, this law went into effect on Christmas Eve and allows police and firefighters to remove a dog or cat from an unattended vehicle without being held responsible for any damages.
Hundreds of pets are left in vehicles to wait for their owners and many of these animals end up dying from the heat. Most owners are not aware of how quickly vehicles can get too hot. The interior temperature of a can get increase 20 degrees in as few as 20 minutes, even on a fairly mild day.
There are significant health concerns, even death, that arise when a pet is left in these conditions for too long. When left in a car for too long, they could begin having trouble breathing. Their heart and respiratory rates will increase which could lead to seizures and cause severe damage to their internal organs.
If you come upon a dog in a car watch for excessive panting or drooling frantic or lethargic behavior. These will be warning signs that the dog is in distress and needs immediate assistance. It will be important to cool the dog down but be careful not to go to extremes as this will shock the dog’s system. Use luke or cool water but never ice to cool them down. They should not drink cold water and make sure they don’t drink too fast. Move the animal to an air-conditioned room. Some veterinarians also recommend using rubbing alcohol on the pads of their feet to cool them off quicker.
If you come across a dog that needs help, you will have a moral decision to make because providing assistance to a dog in a car could have legal consequences. If you are like me, I do not care what the legal consequences would be if an animal is in danger and needs assistance. I would choose to suffer the consequences to save an animal’s life.