We’re sure you never do this, but the warning bears repeating:
Under no circumstances should dogs or any pets ever be left unattended in a parked car. Temperatures inside a parked car can rise to lethal levels even with the windows cracked, or when parked in the shade. On a day when the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 104 degrees in 30 minutes. If it’s hotter outside, the temperature in the car will climb even higher. Dealing with heat is hard for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Animals left in a car can sustain brain damage or die within a short amount of time.
What should you do if you see an animal alone inside a parked car? Take down the make, model and license plate number. Have the owner paged in nearby buildings, and don’t hesitate to call local humane authorities or police. Don’t leave the scene until the situation is resolved.
The best thing you can do is to prevent pets in hot cars. Advocate. Set a good example yourself, and make sure your family, friends, and coworkers know of the dangers of leaving their pets in parked cars. And be a rescuer if you ever see a pet in a parked car on a hot day.