Leaving Dogs Locked in Hot Cars Should Be a Crime

It can take only 20 minutes for a dog left in a hot car to die. Doing so should be a criminal act in the UK.

Most people who leave their dogs locked in hot cars probably don’t believe they’re risking the lives of their beloved pets. They may think that their animals will be fine if they leave the window open or park under a tree. But even with these precautions, cars can still get unbearably hot very quickly in the summer — and the animals trapped inside can die from heat stroke in a matter of minutes.

One in four people in Britain admit to leaving their dogs locked in their cars while they run errands. Dogs, however, cannot cool down as quickly as humans, meaning that enclosed spaces like cars can become death traps for them.

The dogs, helpless to escape, will be left to paw at the insides of burning windows, wondering in vain why their owners have abandoned them to suffer.

Under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, people have a “duty of care” to act reasonably to meet the welfare needs of their animals and prevent suffering. An owner or caregiver can be prosecuted for neglect or cruelty and face jail time. Leaving one’s dog to die in a hot car should certainly qualify as cruelty.

Though education about this danger is certainly important, it just isn’t enough to protect these creatures. Ask the government to make it a crime to leave a pet locked in a hot car!

You can sign the Care2 petition here

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