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After a long, cold winter people often forget that the heat of summer isn't always delightful. In fact, sometimes it can be deadly, especially if you are a dog that has been left in the car. To get the message out about the danger of leaving pets in the heat PETA turned to Tyrann Mathieu, the tattooed safety for the Arizona Cardinals.
In the following video Mathieu sits in a locked car with the windows up as it bakes in the Arizona sun. With each passing minute the mercury climbs higher and the effect it has on Mathieu is easily visible. Within seconds the NFL star is waving himself in an attempt to cool down and starting to breathe heavily; and after a few minutes his shirt is already stained with sweat. In only 8 minutes the temperature in the car climbs from 90 degrees to a sweltering 120 degrees. It is after this time that Mathieu—who is a professional athlete at the height of physical fitness—feels dizzy and exits the automobile.
Eight minutes is not a lot of time and the temperature in the car went up 30 degrees. It's hard to imagine a person getting their shopping done in that amount of time, chances are that if you are a dog locked in a car you're going to be there for a lot longer than 8 minutes. As you watch Mathieu suffer in the video it's important to remember that he had major advantages that a dog doesn't: Mathieu is not covered in fur, he is able to cool his body by sweating (which dogs are unable to do) and he is able to open the door and exit the vehicle when he has had enough. It is that last advantage that is most important.
A car with the windows rolled up can heat up to fatal temperatures even on a relatively pleasant day; on a hot day the temperature can get dangerous before you blink an eye. Please don't leave your pets unattended in vehicles this summer. You can read more about the dangers of leaving animals unattended in the car at this link.