Keep the pets at home and avoid a tragedy

It’s called the ‘dog days’ of summer but please leave the pets at home if you are headed out to do some shopping, even if you think you’ll be there for just a few minutes. Deann Shepherd of the Humane Society of Utah says even with the window cracked it can be a deadly ordeal for a dog or cat.

“You have to think of your car as a greenhouse with all the glass,” Shepherd said. “It’s just trapping that heat inside, the temperatures can increase within a car almost 20 degrees in a short amount of time, like 10 minutes. So, imagine if the windows are cracked, you really don’t have that airflow circulating internally and it does not provide enough air circulation for a pet to cool down.”

On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday, Shepherd said if you come across a vehicle with an animal in heat distress there are things you can do. In Utah, there is no law that protects a ‘good Samaritan’ from breaking into a vehicle to save a pet. But you can call 9-1-1.

Also, you can document the scene. Take out your phone and record some video of the make and model of the vehicle along with the license plate. She said you should stay with the animal until emergency personnel arrives but then you can go into the business and have the owner paged. More information on how to spot signs of heat stroke and also how to keep your dogs from panicking and running away during the fireworks season can be found at

AUDIO: Deann Shepherd of Humane Society of Utah talks with Jason Williams

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