Please never leave a dog in a hot car even for a moment, even if you’re just running into a store for a short time. Temperatures can rise in an instant and your dog will soon overheat. It is extremely dangerous and now illegal.

It is illegal to leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of food and water, lack of adequate ventilation or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death.

Car temperatures can escalate rapidly. A dog can only cool themselves off by panting.  11 states have granted legal rights to citizens to use any means necessary to save a distressed dog. Those 11 states include Florida, Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin at this time.

Before the law existed, even I had a horrible experience while shopping. I walked through a mall parking lot and heard two dogs barking. I found the car and the dogs were trapped, they were alone with no water or adequate ventilation. I couldn’t open the door and the windows were almost closed. I contacted the security person at the mall who then called the police. Time was an important factor. At the time there wasn’t a law protecting dogs in Florida. When the police came I felt like I was the criminal as they informed me to “step away from the car” and that the dogs were not in distress. I knew that they were. At least they eventually the officers located the owners of the car They were walking out of the mall with many bags in hand, the officers then thanked me. The dogs would have been dead within minutes.

Please, please never leave your dog in a hot car.