Phoenix business mogul Dan Harkins was cited for animal neglect last weekend after leaving his Corgi in his car while he watched a movie at one of his theatres. It was 102 degrees out.
According to Harkins, he parked in a shady spot, left the windows cracked and checked on Tanga, a 5-year-old female corgi, every 45 minutes. He gave Tanga water when he checked on her. Here is the most appalling part:
"The officer noted that Harkins said he could not bring his dog into the theater because of health code concerns, but could have taken her into the head manager's office if he had thought of doing so."
Tanga is very lucky that she did not suffer from heat stroke. Here’s what Mr. Harkins SHOULD have done for his dog:
Never left the dog in the car. It is unbelievable that someone would leave their dog in a car while watching a movie. Especially considering that it was 102 degrees out. A car acts like a convection oven, quickly getting much hotter than the outside temperature. The photo above is from my car; that's what it told me the temperature was when I got in one 112 degree afternoon. So it's no surprise that a dog left in a car can die in as little as 30 minutes.
Left the dog somewhere suitable for a dog. Mr. Harkins could have taken the dog into his office in the theatre, left Tanga at home or taken her to a doggie day-care or boarding facility. There are plenty of safe places to leave a dog. A car is not one of them.
Made water constantly available. A dog should never be without water, especially in temperatures like Tanga experienced. The first step to preventing heat stroke is a cool environment; the second step is hydration. A no, leaving the water in the car wouldn't be a 'safe' solution, as the water would get as hot as the car, thus when your dog drinks from it it has no cooling effect.
Reduced the dog’s temperature with cool water. In previous posts about keeping a dog cool, we’ve shared that dogs can only cool themselves by panting or sweating through the pads of their feet. You can help to speed up the process by spraying the dog with cool (not cold) water to bring its temperature down. Cold water can actually slow down the cooling process.
Known the signs of heat stroke. Signs include excessive panting, weakness, dizziness, collapsing, very red gums and/or a body temperature of 105 degrees or higher. If a dog demonstrates these signs, start cooling the dog off and get to the vet. Now.
Every dog owner needs to know these points. Big dogs, dogs with short snouts (like Mastiffs) and dogs from cold climates (like Huskies) are especially susceptible to heat stroke.
Please take care of your big dogs and share, email, or tweet this article with other dog owners. It may save a life.
Quote from Arizona Republic, “Harkins Theatres owner cited for leaving dog in hot car” by Krystal Klei. June 28, 2010.