"Never leave your pet in a parked car on a warm day." We've all heard that phrase hundreds of times, and 14 states have statutes that specifically prohibit leaving an animal in confined vehicle, yet countless dogs will still die this summer at the hands of senseless owners who fail to heed the warnings and laws.

In an effort to further drive the message home, and demonstrate just how quickly the temperature rises inside a parked car, Dr. Ernie Ward, a North Carolina veterinarian and self-proclaimed "America's Pet Advocate" shut himself inside a vehicle during a warm day armed with a timer, a thermometer and a few video cameras (to keep things realistic, he cracked all four windows open, just a few inches, as ill-advised pet owners often do).

As expected, it took only a few minutes for the temperatures to rise. After just 30 minutes, the thermometer was reading a sweltering 117 F. And, as if the temperature alone wasn't enough to torture your animal, Dr. Ward points out that air does not circulate within the interior - the cabin is unbearably stagnant and miserable. Helpless dogs, unable to sweat and without the means to cool themselves, will suffer from dangerously high body core temperatures, brain damage and eventually death."Never, ever, leave your pet in a parked car during warm weather," warns Dr. Ward in the video below. We reiterate his message.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here's another spin on it: People pay money to go to the gym & sit in a sauna. This shows you can do something similar for a lot less cash.
      cadetgray
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hate to say it, but the title/article should include what a child experiences when left in a car during warm weather. I can't believe how stupid and thoughtless people can be today. Sad when people are told they should put a child's toy on the front passenger seat just to be a reminder that their offspring is sitting behind them. Is our attention span/memory so short now that we cannot recall buckling up a child in the car by the time the destination is reached?
        Tom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @cadetgray
        I heard a radio commercial the other day saying when you get out of your car remember the baby. The slogan is Stop. Think. Where is baby. If you have to stop and think about if you left a baby in a car. You shouldn't be allowed to be a parent.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
        Bobby_Sards
        • 1 Year Ago
        what about your kid? Im from Canada and these idiots keep locking their toddlers in the car. Makes me sick
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bobby_Sards
          [blocked]
      likeaboss1234boss
      • 1 Year Ago
      people who do this make me sick when i was younger a lady left her kid in the car i called the cops they said they would be 10 minutes so i couldn't wait i took my scooter smashed the glass and my parents took out the child then the lady came out screaming and cursing at me cause i broke her car window even though i saved her child what and idiot.
      wsbfan
      • 1 Year Ago
      By the way people, don't forget to give your pets food and water! Just a friendly reminder.
      MotionDesigner
      • 1 Year Ago
      I respect this guy's intentions but a "typical summer day" as he puts it is a very broad term. At the end of the video however, it states that the outdoor temperature was 95 degrees. That is rather on the hot side IMO. I would like to see him do this same test if the temperature was somewhere between 78-85 degrees. Not that I would ever leave a pet in a warm car anyway, but it would be good to know what the threshold is before a dog/cat becomes dangerously uncomfortable.
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        You have to remember that the problem is that heat can enter a car via the solar energy coming in through the windows, but not exit it. So even on a 78oF day, if its in broad sunlight in the summer, the temperature can and will get much much hotter unless the sunroof is left open so the hot air can exit the vehicle. Otherwise it is quite literally the greenhouse effect where you can get warm temperatures even when its frosty outside.
          MotionDesigner
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          m_2012, yes I understand that. The point I'm trying to make is just how hot would it be if the outside temperature was cooler, and how long would it take to get to that same temperature, compared to if it was 95 degrees? In the same 30-minute time frame, do you think the temperature would still reach 117 degrees inside the vehicle if it was 55 and sunny outside as compared to 95 degrees?
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          Outside temperature will have less effect than you think on inside temperature. A sunny 40*F day will still leave the inside of the car quite hot. Its all about solar loading and heat retention.
        Kimura
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        So be the test subject and try it yourself.
          MotionDesigner
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kimura
          Kimura, no reason for you to respond with a snide remark. Nothing in any of my comments show any level of confrontation or hostility... I'm simply raising a question. Comments like yours are telling of your immaturity.
        Skylar Ross Toups
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        http://www.weather.com/newscenter/nationalforecast/
        Dixon Ticonderoga
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        The guy is in NC. As a lifelong southerner, that IS pretty typical for a summer day. If it's cooler than about 90 it's raining at which point you have the humidity to deal with. YMMV, obviously, but for a good number of us, 95 isn't even "hot."
      me
      • 1 Year Ago
      This for dumbasses that need their coffee labeled hot, just so they don't forget 30 sec after they ordered it..... I'm just waiting for the "interior shouldn't get so hot" law suits....
      AGSHOP
      • 1 Year Ago
      DOG? 2 babys died this year from this. One in Edmonton Canada that cold place up north....yep it can get hot there! It only takes 5 min to kill a baby!
        Karl_T
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AGSHOP
        I think the point of the experiment and the example is leaving your dog in the car on a HOT day. As opposed to a cooler day, when the weather is not a danger. It is NEVER ok to leave a child in a car.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Karl_T
          [blocked]
      mdcwave
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kudos to Dr. Ernie Ward! Hopefully some lives will be saved by watching this.
      Steve Mulcahy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hmm, I wonder why there isn't a turbo timer style product for keeping the motor (and ac) running for a set amount of time yet leaving the doors locked. Or a way to cool the car 5 minutes before you get in so you don't have to get burnt palms from the steering wheel. Maybe there something like that for more luxurious cars.
        kingrat001
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve Mulcahy
        There is a way to cool off the car for a few minutes before you get into it, it's called the remote start. I use it all the time.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve Mulcahy
        [blocked]
      JeffyJM
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you absolutely HAVE to leave your animal in the car for whatever reason -- things happen -- leave the car running with the AC on full blast, AND open the windows to allow air circulation.
        valve_addiction
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JeffyJM
        lol wAt? why the fk would you open your windows and run the AC that just defeats the AC blowing. I don't know about you, but I don't know a single person who drives down the road with their widows down and AC blasting unless they're in a convertible.
          Tom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @valve_addiction
          I do sometimes. I Also drive down the road with the windows open and the heat on in the winter. No Joke.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      BTW, as far as I know there is no law against leaving your dog in a car in the summer, however, if you call 311 they will jimmy it open if you find that someone has ever done that.
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Also for dog owners, I have seen an alternative here in Texas where someone DID leave the sunroof and all the windows in the vehicle open and just tied the leash to his headrest. This probably is safe from a temperature standpoint, however, its still stupid because some people are frightened of dogs and you've now made the parking space next to you uncomfortable. And if your dog does happen to bite someone, you're liable. Luckily there are some vehicles now where you can leave the engine running and the A/C on while you exit and lock the doors. This would be the best bet if you just have to run inside to get your hotel keys or something real quick, that way if you're delayed at least all you did was waste a bunch of gas.
          Unanything
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          He's talking about parking next to a car with a dog and open windows, if while your getting out/getting your kids out the dog puts his head out the window and bites you the owner of the dog would be liable, it has nothing to do with someone being in your car.
          johnnythemoney
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          If the dog bites someone... what was he doing inside my car?! Liable my ass. Parking a convertible with the top down doesn't make it a public bench.
          MachDelta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          On that first point, they make seatbelts for dogs (essentially just a padded chest harness with a metal ring on the back, and then a short length of actual seatbelt with a clip on one end and a male seatbelt buckle on the other) that you can use for the same purpose of keeping your dog inside the vehicle even if all the windows etc are down. If they're adjusted right, the dog should only be able to sit and lay down. We tend to use it on our lab/shepard cross any time she's in the car too, because you never know when you might be in an accident and i'm not real fond of catching 60lbs of dog in the back of the head.
    • Load More Comments