As much as people enjoy taking their pets with them to run errands, leaving a dog or other pet in a car, even on a warm day with windows cracked, can be dangerous or downright deadly for the pet. When it is hot out, vehicles left in the shade can also quickly become death traps.
Animals left in a hot car can sustain permanent brain damage when their body temperature reaches or exceeds 106F. A dog locked inside a hot car can suffer from heat stress in as little as six minutes, resulting in an agonizing death.
The City of Eugene’s Animal Services Program is reminding pet owners to leave those pets at home during the warm weather months while running errands in their car.
Here is an example of how quickly a vehicle heats up:
Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
Elapsed time Outside Air Temperature (F)
70 75 80 85 90 95
0 minutes 70 75 80 85 90 95
10 minutes 89 94 99 104 109 114
20 minutes 99 104 109 114 119 124
30 minutes 104 109 114 119 124 129
40 minutes 108 113 118 123 128 133
50 minutes 111 116 121 126 131 136
60 minutes 113 118 123 128 133 138
> 1 hour 115 120 125 130 135 140
Leaving a pet in a hot car could result in the responsible party facing charges for animal neglect in the first or second degree. First degree is a Class A Misdemeanor with up to a $6,250 fine and one year in jail and second degree is a Class B Misdemeanor with up to a $2,500 fine and six months in jail.
Pets need special care during hot weather.
• Ensure your pets have a lot of convenient water and a cool place to retreat when it is hot. Remember shade can be variable outside - Keep pets under a cool shelter or inside during peak hours when possible.
• Never leave pets locked in cars, where in the summer the temperatures can reach to 120 degrees, even with the windows down.
• Signs of heatstroke in pets include panting, staring, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, collapse and disobedience, among others. If you suspect heatstroke, call your veterinarian immediately and apply water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body to lower its temperature.
• Just as for humans, too much exercise during hot weather can cause overheating. Consider walks during cooler times of the day.
• If you take your pet hiking, make sure you pack food and water for the animal.
To Report Abuse
•Lost and found animals, animals at large, or abuse call 541-687-4060.