We all know cars get hot and cringe at seeing a dog inside a car, specially if it has the windows rolled up. The rule of thumb is NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNATTENDED INSIDE A CAR.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, on a 70-degree day, the temperature in a car can hit 80 degrees in ten minutes. On a hot day, the temperature inside a car can shoot up to 109 degrees in the same amount of time. Multiple studies confirm that cracking a window doesn’t reduce the temperature either, so an open window might help keep the dog breathing but can still lead to heatstroke.

We know 10 minutes isn’t enough time to pick up a few items at the grocery store or mail a package, so the bottom line is to keep your dog safe by leaving him at home when running errands.

Laws in 31 states address this issue; in some states, public officials are the only ones allowed to break into cars to rescue a dog. In other states, “Good Samaritan” laws allow anybody to rescue an animal from a vehicle, but only if they follow certain steps first, such as contacting 911 or getting security involved. Fourteen states have Good Samaritan laws: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

But whether you are in one of those states or not, it is important to take action if you see a dog locked inside a car.

-The fist thing is to call 911 immediately and take a picture of the car, the situation and license plate number.

-If there are stores nearby, notify the manager or security guard and ask them to page the car’s owner and give them a description of the car and license plate number. Hopefully, the car owner will return quickly after hearing the announcement.

-Finally, wait with the dog until the driver returns.

One the most important things to do is to educate others on this issue and keep vigilant. A dog’s life depends on it!