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A sad reminder of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars


Steve Dale is host of the nationally syndicated radio show Steve Dale’s Pet World and The Pet Minute with Steve Dale. His column, My Pet World
(in which this post originally appeared) is carried in more than 100
newspapers nationwide. Steve also serves on the board of directors for
the American Humane Association.


You can download free hot-car awareness fliers and posters like this one on

Editor’s note: Leaving a dog in a hot car is illegal. If you see a dog locked in a hot car and cannot locate the car’s owner, notify on-site security personnel if possible or call 911. Learn more about the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car.

On July 4, Maya Webb, of Bettendorf, IA, went shopping inside a furniture store in Joliet, IL. She left her two Pit Bulls in the car. When she returned, the dogs were found dead. They died of heat stroke.

It was only about 81 degrees out. But the car windows were closed. Webb told police that the dogs were in the car with the engine running and air conditioning on. But police say the engine was not running.

According to various studies — cars (even with windows open) may heat up to over 100 degrees in as little as 15 minutes when it’s 80 degrees outside. Dogs don’t cool themselves as efficiently as people, and are more prone to suffer heat stroke. [Learn the signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats here.] Sales records from the store suggest Webb was away about two hours.

Webb was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 4 felony, according to the Chicago Tribune Breaking News. Webb reportedly wept on the scene, but this was absolutely preventable.

©Tribune Media Services, Steve Dale, used with permission.

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