Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Animals, cars, hot weather, and YOU. What to do

Great advice! Please read

Hello everyone,

It's time again to be on the lookout for dogs and other animals left unattended in vehicles. As you all know, the inside of a parked car heats up extremely quickly. On a warm day, in a matter of minutes--even with the windows slightly opened--the temperature inside the car can reach more than 160 degrees! The normal body temperature of a dog is about 100 to 102 degrees; heat stroke and heat prostration can occur if the animal's body temperature rises to around 106 degrees. At 107 to 109 degrees, cellular destruction begins. With only hot air to breathe, dogs can suffer irreparable brain damage and even die. Every year, dogs die horrible, agonizing deaths of heatstroke in cars. Last July, a dog was found near death in Newport News. His guardian had left the animal in the car "for just a few minutes," where temperatures quickly reached 120 degrees F.

If you see an animal confined to a vehicle in hot weather, please consider it an emergency. Please do the following:


1. Write down or memorize the make, model and license plate of the vehicle.

2. Go into the store
right away, ask to speak with a manager about an emergency situation

3. Nicely and calmly explain to Ms. Or Mr. Manager that there is an animal confined to a vehicle in the parking lot, that he or she could perish in a matter of minutes, and that you would like to have the owner paged without further delay. Follow manager around until this is done, please; they get grabbed by others left and right and may forget about you. Be pesky!

4. Stay around and wait for the owners of said vehicle to show up, smile and be friendly, explain if you have to that a relative of yours just lost their dog in this hideous way, and that you are so worried about their dog, he looks terribly hot, is panting heavily, could they please run out to the car, and so on. People may get defensive or nasty, just stay nice, calm, hey--even cry if you have to (after all, you were attached to that poor dog of your relative's). Again,
be pesky.

5. If the owners don't show up, or if they show up and they are useless and digging their heels in just because, call the emergency number in the appropriate jurisdiction (see your local AC guides, please) and make clear that this is an emergency.
Be ready to call 911, please. Animal control may tell you they have no one to send, can't be there for an hour, whatever. If that's the case, call 911. An animal's life may depend on it!

6.
Don't leave the scene until the situation has been resolved. Don't believe anyone who says "we'll be right out," etc. Make sure they do!

6. Of course: be sure to carry our fab leaflets, see: http://petaliterature.com/WEL200.pdf. But they won't save anyone if you leave them on the vehicle and traipse away, so please follow above steps without fail.

Print this out and carry it around with you if you need to. Please don't allow yourself to be shy about these situations. I know they can be uncomfortable, but the animals depend on us to be firm and do what's right. Thank you!

Daphna

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