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Cats and Heat

Keeping your cat cool should be your top priority!


Though we all enjoy a nice hot summer day, our four-legged friends prefer to relax at home. They should not be left inside a car while we do our daily errands on hot summer days or cold winter days for that matter!

Did you know that an animal left in a car, even for 15 minutes with the windows down 4-8 inches can over heat within minutes. Some HOT facts gathered by PETA and the HSUS state that on a 72-78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can easily soar to 116 degrees within an hour, but more likely it can reach between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes. On a 90-degree day, the interior temperature of a car can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Our weather here in Norwood has soared higher than 90 degrees for many days thus far this summer! Did you know that rolling down the windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car?

In many states there are no hard-and-fast rules on the legality of leaving a dog unattended in a vehicle. Massachusetts is one of these states. 16 other states already have specific “hot car” laws. However, offenders can (and frequently do) face animal cruelty charges. The problem is, according to most animal cruelty laws the animal must suffer beyond an acceptable limit for extreme measures to free the animal are legally allowed. Hence why laws to protect any animal left in a hot (or cold) car needs to include verbiage allowing good Samaritans to respond when an animal’s safety is at risk before they suffer what could be irreversible damage.

What to do? If an animal is left in a car and you fear for the animal’s safety, you should first contact the local police and animal control authorities immediately. Then take down the car's make, model and license-plate number and reach out to any nearby businesses asking them to seek the owner through their announcement system. Many owners are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation. If not owner is found, stay with the car until officials arrive, if the animal is in imminent danger try to local other witnesses and free the animal from the car while you wait for the appropriate officials to arrive.