Don’t cook your pooch |

Don’t cook your pooch

Summer, which officially doesn’t start for almost another month, rolled in for a few days late last week. So I believe it’s necessary to send out early warnings about dogs left in cars. As all who live in a desert know, temperatures can rise quickly and become unbearable.

People who have never lived in a summer desert say, “But it’s dry!” Yeah, but it’s like living in an oven. In the summer, a closed-up car/truck, parked in sun or shade, is what I would call an oven. Wouldn’t you?

I am among the many who don’t understand why some people insist on taking their dogs when they do chores that require driving somewhere. I do believe that most deeply love their dogs and consider them their kids. Perhaps there’s so much love that both two- and four-legged creatures experience separation anxiety.

You are, however, putting your dog at high risk for heatstroke and death. Excuses abound; here are a few.

“I’ll be back in just a few minutes.” What if you aren’t? People have heart attacks in stores, and they trip over things and get broken ankles. When in pain, it may be difficult to remember to tell someone about your faithful friend, waiting for you, back in the oven. What if you’re unconscious, so can’t utter a word about your loved one?

“But I always leave the windows cracked a few inches.” Or, “I park in the shade.” So what? It will still get really hot in the car, not as fast but it can be just as deadly. If the outdoor temperature is 85 degrees, a closed-up car interior will reach 100 degrees in 7 to 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 30 minutes. If it is 100 degrees outdoors, not uncommon around here, then in 15 minutes the car’s interior will be 140 degrees. Dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes.

Then there’s this: “I leave the AC running, so it stays cool.” Suppose your few minutes turns into 40 minutes because you ran into a friend and started chatting. We all know how fast time goes when we’re not paying attention to it. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons your car conked out as soon as you walked into the store. Returning to your car will give you grief that can be unbearable.

As a final note on this subject, do you know this? “Leaving a pet animal (especially a dog or cat) in a car under unsafe conditions is a crime in Nevada [NRS 574.195]. And not only do you face fines and jail . . . law enforcement can legally confiscate your pet and put it down” ( If your car is locked, police officers will break your window(s) to free your furry friend.

CAPS asks its readers to please call the local police, city or county, if you should see a pet in an enclosed vehicle; they will respond and help save an innocent life.

Switching gears here, last week I didn’t have the troop number and names of Girl Scouts who helped out on the May 4 Strut-Your-Mutt 5K Walk/Run, which is part of our annual Bark in the Park. So this week, we give a Paws Applause! to Girl Scout Troop 108: leader Teresa Pursley and scouts Molly Woolsey, Katlyn Edge, Michelle Joslin, Katlyn Joslin, Vivian Garcia, Hanna Cuff and her mom, Angela.

As a final note, be sure to stop by Flower Tree Nursery to buy raffle tickets ($1 each or six for $5) for “Prairie fire,” a vibrant-pink crabapple tree valued at $79.99! All proceeds from this raffle benefit CAPS. Tickets can also be purchased at the shelter. The drawing will be held on June 1 at Flower Tree, and you don’t have to be present to win.

This week’s article was contributed by Betty Duncan, a member of the CAPS board of directors.