By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Buddy, Buster, Max, Lucy, Sadie and Ginger are fairly common pet names. But they’re also the names of just a few of the pets that died last year because they were left in cars on warm, but not necessarily hot, days while their owners were shopping, on errands or visiting friends or family.
Local veterinarian Clyde Williams said any pet death due to summer’s hot temperatures is tragic because it can be prevented.
“Dogs don’t sweat like people do to cool off. The only way a dog can reduce its temperature is through panting. It’s kind of inefficient, but that’s the way they are made,” said Williams.
Williams said people should not leave dogs in a vehicle for any length of time during the summer months because temperatures inside a car or truck can rise quickly, even on a cloudy day.
Another factor that causes problems for dogs is most of them are not properly restrained while in a vehicle, said Hatch.
“That creates some dangerous situations for people and pets alike,” she said. “Unrestrained pets can be seriously or fatally injured or could even hurt occupants in a collision or sudden braking situation.
“A National Highway Transportation study reports 20 percent of injury accidents involve distracted driving. Pets should be secured in a restraint system or a crate with a restraint in the back seat away from airbags for their own safety as well as the driver’s.
“Pets can distract drivers by sitting on their lap, roaming around the vehicle and can even interfere with the control pedals of the vehicle.”
This story is sponsored by Fat Kelly’s.
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