Pets traveling with their owners to run daily errands have become the normal routine for many residents. Dogs typically love car rides and are absolutely adorable hanging their heads out of the window for the feel of fresh air on their faces. However, if you cannot bring your fur baby into the store or restaurant with you, please leave them at home during the summer! Heading into the grocery store for a quick item or running into the pharmacy might not take a significant amount of time; however, the intense summer temperatures make a vehicle an extremely dangerous place.
On a regular 100-degree day, it takes less than one hour for a dashboard to heat up to 157 degrees, a steering wheel to reach 127 degrees or the seats climb to 123 degrees. A few minutes is all it takes for a pet or child to die of heat stroke. According to the National Safety Council (NFC) a reported 52 child deaths occurred by being left in a hot car in 2018.
Unfortunately, in many of hot car deaths, the driver simply forgot there was a passenger in the backseat. One tip that has been shared is to place a significant item in the front seat of the car to remind you of precious cargo in the back.
There is a Good Samaritan Law in Arizona that protects any individual who enters an unattended motor vehicle to remove a child or domestic animal from civil liability if a good faith belief exists that the child or pet is in imminent danger, injury or death. The law also requires the person to notify law enforcement or emergency medical personnel before entering the vehicle and to stay with the child or pet until authorities arrive.
Asphalt becomes just as dangerous for our pets. Being too close to the heat radiating off the ground can cause a dog’s body to heat up very quickly causing heat stroke as well as burning or damaging their paws. Pets should be walked early in the morning to avoid the direct sun.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has an abundance of helpful tips on pets and the summer heat. It is just as important to watch your pets around pools. Not all dogs are good swimmers and, just as with children, pools can be very dangerous.
Concerns regarding the driving in Sun City Grand have recently been brought to my attention. Sun City Grand residents are urged to obey traffic laws and restrictions. Please be mindful of your surroundings to help ensure a safe neighborhood!
As always, I invite you to join me at one of my monthly meetings. I meet the second Wednesday of each month from 3 – 4 p.m. in the Arizona Traditions Classroom. Please ask the gate guard for directions upon arrival. Additionally, I meet the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Sun City Grand Palm Center – Mediterranean Room (19726 N. Remington Dr.) at 10 a.m. Please stop by and chat with me about what’s going on in the city!