Animal Rights Group Warns Against Leaving Animal Companions in Parked Cars

For Immediate Release:
August 14, 2018

Tokyo — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) receives reports every year about animals who endured horrifying deaths after being left in hot cars during the summer months. As the heatwave continues and temperatures across the country soar, PETA is offering urgent guidelines for taking care of animal companions during hot weather.

On a 25-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to between 37 and 50 degrees in just minutes, and on a 32-degree day, interior temperatures can reach as high as 71 degrees in less than 10 minutes. If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke—including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, or loss of coordination—get the animal into the shade immediately. You can lower a symptomatic dog’s body temperature by offering water, applying a cold towel to the head and chest, or immersing the limbs and torso in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

PETA offers the following guidelines for safeguarding animals:

  • Keep dogs indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress, injury, and death.
  • Don’t dress animals in clothes. Doing so increases their chances of heatstroke.
  • Provide water and shade. If animals must be left outside, they should be provided with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Walk—don’t run. In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by having them run alongside you. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
  • Avoid hot cars. Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes, even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
  • Stay alert and save a life.Keep an eye on all animals you see outdoors. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see an animal in distress, provide him or her with water for immediate relief, if possible, and then contact authorities right away.

“Many animals suffer during Japan’s long summers,” says PETA Vice President Jason Baker. “You can help them weather the high temperatures by following our tips and by volunteering with your local animal shelter.”

For more information, please visit or PETA’s Facebook page.