People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says 44 dogs fell victim to heatstroke in hot cars in 2017 alone. And Roseanne actress Emma Kenney wants that inhumane treatment to stop. The 18-year-old star has teamed up with PETA for a potentially lifesaving PSA, which the animal welfare organization is sharing first with Us Weekly.
In the video, Kenney points out that humans have a lot of options for cooling down on a hot summer’s day — running the air-conditioner, grabbing a cold drink, etc. — but dogs have no egress when they are trapped in the equivalent of a toaster oven.
“A person would have to be entirely thoughtless, completely heartless, and utterly shameless,” Kenney adds. “While you were safely inside ordering your obnoxiously long iced-coffee order, death could be knocking on your car’s scalding-hot door. So, come on, people, please! Please leave your dogs out of hot cars! Or I might just lose my f—king cool.”
Kenney also opened up about her collab with PETA: “I’m a proud dog mom to two adopted pups, Prince and Charles, and when I heard from PETA how many animals die every year after being carelessly left in hot cars, it made me so angry and I knew I had to help,” Kenney tells Us exclusively. “My dogs are by my side whenever possible, but I never risk their safety. We avoid walks and hikes during hotter periods of the day, and I always make sure they have plenty of water. If I’m going somewhere that isn’t dog-friendly, I keep the pups at home where they are cool and comfortable.”
The danger is very real. On a 70-degree day, the temperature inside a car can spike to 89 degrees in just 10 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. If it’s 95 degrees out, the temperate can reach 114 degrees inside the car within the same amount of time. And the Animal Legal Defense Fund cautions dog owners that cracking your car’s windows doesn’t eliminate the danger of heatstroke or death.
If you see a dog left inside a hot car, PETA recommends calling local humane authorities or the police and staying at the scene until the situation has been resolved. And if the dog’s life seems to be in imminent danger and you’re worried the authorities won’t arrive quickly enough, PETA says to find witnesses who are willing to corroborate your assessment and remove the suffering animal from the car. The organization also offers emergency hammers to use in such life-or-death situations.